The humble potato comes in many different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures and has been an incredibly important starch in diets all over the world. Roast them, boil them, put them in a stew! Potatoes make the world go round.
Flavor profile: Although on the outside we tend to categorize potatoes by the color of their skin, it is the texture of the potato that defines its flavor. Many yellow-fleshed potatoes have a thick, waxy texture and buttery flavor, while may white-fleshed potatoes tend to have a flakier texture and mild flavor, each lending themselves well for different recipes.
Uses: Potatoes are perfect for just about anything. Mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, hash browns, blended soups, stews, perogies, gnocchi, French fries, tater tots! There is nothing a potato can’t do.
Pairs with: I’m just going to go ahead and say everything.
Storage: Potatoes like to be in a cool, dark place. They can be in the fridge or outside of the fridge in a garage-like space. When kept sufficiently cool and dark potatoes can store for many months.
Other names: In Spanish, potatoes are referred to as both papas y patatas, although patatas originally referred specifically to sweet potatoes. Depending on where you are, the words can be used somewhat interchangeably.
Nutrients: Potatoes are full of complex starches that are nutrient-rich. Like many other plants in the Solanaceae family (tomatoes, peppers, etc.) they’re a great source of Vitamin C as well as potassium. Potatoes contain even more potassium than bananas. Read more here.
History: Native to the Andean mountains in and around Peru, the diversity of potatoes that grow in the microclimates of the mountains is astounding. As the potato moved around the world it became a favorite wherever it went, a crop that meant the difference between feast and famine.
Why it's a great crop: Potatoes are a great storage crop that can store both in the soil and in cold storage for many many months. Unlike carrots and celeriac that can sometimes be more labor intensive to seed, weed, and harvest, potatoes are easy to plant and can grow in straight mulch.
What is a New Potato? You may find “new potatoes” in your CSA box or at the farmers market. This just means that the potatoes were freshly dug from the soil, which means they likely have thin delicate skins and increased water content.