Although the terms yam and sweet potato are often used interchangeably, they belong to different plant species. A true yam is a tropical-vine tuber found in South and Central America, the West Indies and parts of Asia and Africa. The sweet potato, a large, edible root that is a member of the morning glory family, is native to tropical areas of the Americas. Either may be used in this dish. If desired, garnish the roasted yams with finely slivered parsley.
2In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup and heat until the butter has melted, 2 to 3 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the yams, the butter mixture, salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly.
3Transfer to a baking dish and roast, stirring every 15 minutes, until the yams are tender and caramelized, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Sprinkle with the almonds and serve immediately.
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