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How to Choose Potatoes

A new variety or color of potato seems to appear at the supermarket with every shopping trip. We're cooking this mealtime staple in new and interesting ways, too. Read this potato primer to see how this once-humble vegetable has become a top tuber!


How to Choose Potatoes

Reds
With a blushing red skin and creamy white interior, red potatoes have a smooth, moist texture that makes them perfect in salads and good for steaming, boiling and roasting, too.

Russets
The most widely used potato in the U.S., these brown-skinned, white-fleshed potatoes are a staple on tables everywhere.  They are all-purpose potatoes, great for baking, mashing, frying, and roasting.

Purple/Blue
These colorful potatoes are native to South America.  They have a slightly nutty flavor and can vary in color from indigo to pale purple.  Both the skin and flesh have color in some varieties; in others, the interior is white and just the skin has color.  These potatoes are good in salads and side dishes as well as for soups and French fries.  They're also good mashed. The most color is preserved, however, when they're microwaved, steamed, or baked.

White
Less starchy than russet potatoes, these round or long white potatoes have a beige skin and white flesh. Regarded as an all-purpose potato, white potatoes can be used in most every kind of preparation.

Yellow
Most popular in European countries, yellow potatoes, such as Yukon Gold and Yellow Finn varieties, are now showing up in American cuisine.  These dense, creamy-textured potatoes differ from our white-fleshed common russet with their light, fluffy texture.  Terrific in salads, potato dishes (au gratin, scalloped), soups and chowders, yellows can also be mashed.

Fingerling These potatoes are small, short potatoes that range from 1 to 2 inches in diameter and 2 to 3 inches in length.  Because of their petite size and thin skin, there's no need to peel them. Great in salads or roasted, them come in a variety of colors.

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