Guide to Potatoes

Potatoes are probably one of the most useful vegetables in the world, you can fry, mash, and bake them. That’s why preparing a delicious potato dish is not difficult at all, you can put them in the oven, add some butter and salt, and you’re done. However, the hardest part is picking the right potato. That’s why in this article, we are going to discuss the different types of potatoes and their uses

Potato Categories

Potatoes have two essential categories that impact the outcome of your food, waxy and starchy.

  • Waxy – Potatoes that belong in this category have low starch content, and they are often described as firm, creamy, and moist. In fact, smooth potatoes hold their shape well after cooking. These potatoes are great for potato salads, boiling, roasting, and even casseroles.
  • Starchy – Obviously, potatoes that fall into this category have very low moisture and high in starch. They have a fluffy texture when cooked; that’s why they are great for frying, baking, and boiling. However, unlike the waxy potatoes, starchy potatoes do not hold their shape well that’s why you should avoid it if you want to make potato salads, casseroles, and gratins.
  • All-purpose – Potatoes that fall into this category have a medium starch content. In short, they are multi-purpose potatoes, and they can be used in any form of cooking.

Type of Potatoes

Now it’s time to discover the different kinds of potatoes. So that next time you need a potato for a particular dish, you know which type you’re going to get, and you can be as creative as you’d like.

  • Purple Peruvian – This type of potato has deep purple colored skin and flesh. It’s either throughout the potato or marbled with white and inky purple color. Purple Peruvian potatoes have an earthy but slightly nutty taste and an almost buttery aftertaste. They are an all-purpose potato, and they are best for roasting, baking, broiling, grilling, and frying.
  • Yukon Gold – Yukon gold potatoes have flaked yellowish skin and light yellow flesh. It tastes sweet, and it has a slightly smooth and waxy texture with moist flesh. The Yukon gold potato also belongs to the all-purpose category because you can boil, fry, roast, and grill them.
  • Idaho Russet – This type of potato has russet skin and white flesh. They are the typical looking potato, and they have a natural potato flavor along with a creamy, fluffy, and soft texture. The Idaho russet potato belongs to the starchy category, and they are best used for mashing, baking, and making French fries. This type of potato belongs to the starchy group. That’s why they are very absorbent.
  • Katahdin – Katahdin potatoes are the potatoes that are commonly used in making French fries. They have yellowish flesh, smooth skin, and that classic potato flavor. Katahdin potatoes belong to the starchy category, and they tend to have smooth, creamy, and soft when cooked. That’s why they are best for baking, boiling, and of course, making French fries.
  • Red Bliss – Red bliss potatoes have a creamy white flesh along with bright red skin. They have a slightly bitter taste with a waxy, firm, and moist texture. They fall into the waxy category, and they are best used in stews, soups, roasting, casseroles, and salads.
  • New Potatoes – As their name implies, new potatoes are the kind of potatoes that are harvested when they are still young before their sugars turn into starch. New potatoes come in several types, but they are mostly round with thin skin. They tend to be creamy, sweet, and very waxy. They belong to the waxy category, and they are best used in soups, steaming, boiling, and roasting.
  • Fingerling – Fingerlings are finger-shaped potatoes that are two to three inches long. They have a light yellow flesh and a thin, buff-yellow skin. They have a mild, earthy, and nutty flavor that matches their moist and firm texture. Fingerling potatoes belong to the waxy category, and they are perfect for roasting, salads, baking, and boiling.
  • Carola – This type of potato has an elongated shape along with yellow skin and flesh. They have a classic but strong potato flavor with buttery and earthy notes. They belong to the waxy category, and they have a creamy, firm, and waxy texture. They are perfect for roasting, grilling, salads, steak fries, gratins, and casseroles.
  • Adirondack Blue –This type of potato has bright blue-purple flesh and purple skin. They have a creamy, earthy, and nutty flavor along with a firm, creamy, and apple-like texture. They belong to the waxy category that’s why they are perfect for baking, steaming, salads, mashing, gratins, and casseroles
  • Adirondack Red – As their name implies, this type of potato has a pink to red skin and flesh. Their color turns into a slightly mauve flavor after you boil them. They have a moist, waxy, and meaty texture along with a slightly sweet taste. They belong to the waxy category which means Adirondack red potatoes are perfect for mashing, frying, boiling, and even microwaving.