Why I Hate Yams (and Other Sweet Tubers)

When I was growing up, I spent my afternoons after school at my maternal grandparents’ apartment, waiting for my parents to come home. Being the eldest grandson in the family, my grandmother would dote on me with toys, candy, chocolate, cheese, ham, chicken wings, McDonald’s, and the like (naturally, I was a really fat kid, but that’s another story for another time) [Editor (also me): yeah let’s not tell that story ever].

Of all the treats I ate, my favorite flavor of all was artificial grape, and I meanĀ artificial grape (because which kid has time for real fruit?)[there is something wrong with you]. I loved grape flavored gummies, grape flavored hard candies, grape flavored children’s vitamins – once, I even had grape flavored toothpaste (note to self: this is still available, please look into it, thanks) [no].

Fast forward to today, people are often shocked to find that I hate sweet potatoes, in any form. They’re especially outraged to learn that I hate sweet potato fries [to be fair, I think you mean “hate” in the first world sense, and by that I mean you’ll still eat it because you’re greedy, but feel resentful afterwards].

This is why:

My main occupation while staying with my grandparents’ was hunting for food that they didn’t want me to eat just yet. I would find a stool and use it to climb up to the highest cabinets in the kitchen, looking for anything sweet or savory. In retrospect, I’m surprised this strategy worked for as long as it did. You’d think they’d switch up the hiding spots.

Something that they couldn’t hide elsewhere was ice cream – there was always some in the freezer.

One fateful day, I opened the freezer to find the holy grail: Grape Ice Cream. Even today, I can remember being overcome with excitement. How could I have lived all of my six years without knowing that this existed? [truly, it is a mystery]

Well, there were many other things that, as a six-year-old, I didn’t know existed, such as yams. And just as I remember the anticipation of feasting on what might as well have been the heroin of grape flavored confectionery, I can vividly recall the disgust and despair that followed when I discovered that a fellow human being had seen fit to make ice cream out of essentially, edible dirt. After all, isn’t that what compost literally is? Stuff that you don’t want to eat that you bury in the ground? [that’s not what compost is…]

So that’s pretty much why I hate all sweet tubers now: Yam ice cream. I know it’s not a rational reason, or even a very good one [correct…], but I can’t help but feel the universe conspired against me on this one. Just like the time I ate a tablespoon of salt because “adding it to food makes the food taste good, so salt must taste good, right?” [you are a moron] Or like the time I ate spaghetti Bolognese together with cherry soda, which, in case you didn’t know, is a flavor combination that tastes exactly like vomit. [kill me]

When I was growing up, my grandparents used to tell me about how sweet potatoes were all they had to eat during World War II.

Well, it’s not World War II anymore, so I’m not eating any.