# How to count "Chinese yam"

I am not sure if most westerners have seen or eaten this food. Here is a picture of Chinese yam:

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As you can see in the picture, there are two sticks, but I am not sure if stick is a correct quantifier for Chinese yam. Which is the right one to go with it?

a. 2 Chinese yams
b. 2 sticks of Chinese yam
c. 2 Chinese yam tubers/taproots
d. 2 tubers/taproots of Chinese yam

Yam can be used as a countable noun (two yams) or an uncountable noun (two sticks of yam) though the latter sounds awkward as mentioned by the others.

In general most food is both countable and uncountable. It is countable when you refer to it in its intact form that you normally find it in.

For example:

Take two carrots and chop them

This means to take two whole carrots, as they are when pulled from the earth, and chop them. (Presumably you wash and peel them first, etc).

This soup has too much carrot in it.

This means that the soup contains too much carrot mass, that is, too many carrots were chopped for this soup (or, perhaps, the carrots were too large). So a whole carrot root, as pulled from the ground, is "one carrot", but it is made up of "carrot".

The same applies to many other food types. It gets complicated when a food doesn't have a standard unit, such as beef. You can't really say "two beefs" because nobody knows what that means. Two pounds? Two rib-eye steaks? You need some kind of measuring unit.

For celery, which is normally sold as a bunch of stalks, you have to say "two stalks/sticks of celery". For liquids you'd have to specify the measuring quantity, such as "two cups" or "two bottles" or "two tablespoons". Certain liquids might have a relatively standard serving size, or the serving size might not always matter, so you could hear