It's true. I just baked about 5 yams...they looked, on the outside, like some alien seed pod that has flown through space and landed, mishapened and gnarled on the ground. Or in my case the kitchen counter. I even thought one was starting to mold (cut that part off of it). Just plain ugly. I've scared the children with the ugliness of these things (the alien seed pod thing). But once they start to bake, the house begins to smell as if someone had decided to sprinkle love in every room. It is that good. So warm and heavenly and all from these ugly hard, red moon rock like shapes. I just ate one...adding 2 tablespoons of butter. That was it. Nothing else. SO GOOD! I'm still amazed by the flavor, warmth and satisfying richness of this ultimately simple sweet potato. :) I baked mine for about 30-40 minutes...basically, till the skin was separated from the meat. Give it a try, very good. If you do, let me know in the comments.