Welcome back to the blog. We hope you’re enjoying your box this week!
Over your series of boxes, you’ve probably noticed quite a variety of different potatoes, and maybe like me, you’ve wondered at the differences. But, then quickly forget about it because you were hungry.
There are over 100 different kinds of potatoes in the U.S. alone, and despite what you may have heard they did not originate in Ireland. It was the Spanish Conquistadors that introduced the potato to Europe. The vegetable didn’t even arrive in Ireland until the late 1500s! It wasn’t until the 1700s that potatoes were even being cultivated regularly on the North American east coast.
It seems difficult to imagine our diet without it, yet how many of us actually know what all those different types of potatoes are or how they should be used?
For starters, potatoes fall into roughly 7 categories (Russet, Red, White, Yellow, Purple/Blue, Fingerling, and Petite) with 3 different consistencies: waxy, starchy, and all-purpose. For this post, we’ll stick with the types you are most likely to find in your box.
A week or so ago, the Purple/Blue Potato popped up in your box. Though high in starch, it’s still considered in the all-purpose category. This potato retains its shape and color well throughout the cooking process, and its low sugar content makes it great for soups, salads, or grilling.
Red Gold Potato
Another common appearance, and one of my personal favorites, is the waxy Red Gold Potato. Red on the outside and golden on the inside, this type is wonderful mashed. I even suggest washing well and leaving the skin on to make sure you get that extra dose of vitamin C and B.
Yukon Gold Potato
Yukon Gold is one of the youngest variety of potatoes. It was bread into existence by Canadian scientist G.R. Johnston and R.G. Rowberry in the 1960s, and started to become widely used in the 1980s. Due to its smooth golden texture, Johnston named the potato after the Yukon River in Canada, made famous during the Alaskan Gold Rush. It’s a great all-purpose potato with a creamy buttery texture and taste that is fabulous for mashed potatoes or homemade french fries!
Even though its season has passed, I’ve got to give a shout out to the holiday favorite Sweet Potato. Sweet, starchy, and incomplete without melted marshmallows, this is a true staple for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Is it even necessary to say best served mashed?
Lastly, the potato in your box this week is the classic Russet, aka the Idaho Potato. Delicate, starchy, and low moisture, it is the ultimate choice for a traditional baked potato. Its qualities allow it go well with a variety of toppings like sour cream, chives, cheese sauces, as well as a plethora of Latin American seasonings. The high starch content is great for mashed potatoes, but because they are low in moisture they need to be cautiously whipped and will benefit greatly from cream and butter.
And that is how you bake a potato! Enjoy your weekend, and your organic potatoes!