Sweet potatoes are a tuber native to Central America. There are many varieties of the sweet potato from the pale yellow to the dark-skinned variety that in America is often called a "yam." The pale yellow variety is not terribly sweet after being cooked and the texture can be dry. The dark-skinned variety has a sweeter flesh and a moister texture when cooked. Pick sweet potatoes with firm, smooth skins. Store in a cool, dark place and use within 1 week.
For other potato varieties, see baking, boiling, new, red, and white potatoes, and yams.