Potatoes come in a wide variety of sizes, textures, and colours. In this tip, we’ll cover the most common types of potatoes and how you can use them in your cooking.
Fingerling potatoes are generally small in size and feature elongated shapes that resemble fat fingers. They come in a range of colours including yellow, purple, and pink. Many chefs like them for their tender taste and cute appearance. Common varieties include French Fingerling, Purple Peruvian, Russian Banana and Austrian Crescent.
2. Baking (starchy)
Baking potatoes have a higher starch content, lower moisture content and are best suited for mashing, baking, and making fries. Idaho and Russet potatoes fall into this category. These potatoes have a fluffy texture, don’t hold their shape, and shouldn’t be used in dishes like casseroles, gratins, and potato salad
3. Boiling (waxy)
Boiling potatoes are more waxy, with a higher moisture and sugar content compared to baking potatoes. These potatoes are most often boiled, roasted, or grilled. They hold their shape well in soups, casseroles, and potato salads. Texture is most commonly described as creamy, moist, and firm. Common varieties include Red Norland, and Yellow Finn.
4. All Purpose
All purpose potatoes fall between baking and boiling potatoes in terms of their starch, moisture, and sugar content. They can be used in a variety of cooking applications. One of the most common all purpose potatoes varieties is Yukon Gold.
5. New Potatoes
New potatoes are small potatoes that are picked before the plant reaches maturity and before all the sugars have converted to starch. They are smaller in size, and have thinner, more tender skin. They are usually harvested just as the plants begin to flower. They are great boiled, steamed, or roasted, but not as good for baking.
Regardless of the type of potato you buy, growers will also see additional attributes like early, mid, and late season potatoes. These terms refer to how long the plants take to mature.
Early potatoes generally take between 60-80 days and do not keep well since they usually have more tender skin and high moisture content. Mid-season potatoes generally take between 80-100 days from planting to harvest. Late-season potatoes generally take more than 100 days and often have better storage qualities and can keep for many months.