Creamy or firm when cooked, yams have an earthy, hardy taste and usually a minimal amount of sweetness. There are approximately 200 different varieties of yams with flesh colors varying from white to ivory to yellow to purple while their thick skin comes in white, pink or brownish-black. . It is a hearty tuber that does not have the sweeter taste of a sweet potato, but instead may have flavors that range from bland to earthy, slightly smoky in taste, or nutty and only moderately sweet. The shape of the yam can be oblong, tapered or round with a thick outer skin that is dark brown and bark-like, ranging from smooth to shaggy in appearance. Their dense flesh can be an off-white color to pale yellow or slightly pinkish orange with a very starchy texture.?