Parsnips, beets, greens, turnips and a rutabaga take center stage surrounded by sweet potatoes.

The yam what am — not

Although this Thanksgiving gazillions of people will chow down on “yams” — candied or otherwise — they just think that’s what they’re eating. In reality, they’re munching sweet potatoes, a distant relative of the white potatoes we also will consume this week, and not yams at all.

Paul Risk is a professor emeritus and biologist in the College of Forestry and Agriculture at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. Email: