Types of Potatoes: The Complete Guide

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All you need to know about the various types of potatoes

types of potatoes

The health benefits of incorporating many vegetables and fruits in your diet are well known. These ingredients help you counteract the effects of living an otherwise unhealthy lifestyle and help you stay fit.

While there are many vegetables you can eat, the most popular vegetable is the potato. Potatoes are widely used in cuisines worldwide and are incredibly popular for their neutral, mild flavour.

Potatoes are easily some of the most versatile vegetables and can enhance any dish. They are also incredibly filling and nutritious and give you a lot of fibre and vitamins.

However, not each potato is the same. There are numerous potatoes, each with its distinct taste, size, colour, and texture.

Learning about these various types of potatoes can help you cook much better and elevate your food to the level of a professional chef.

Using the right potatoes to make fries, baked potatoes, mash, or anything else can revolutionize your cooking game.

What Are Potatoes?

different types of potatoes

Potatoes are root vegetables with the scientific name Solanum tuberosum. While they are native to the Americas, they now grow worldwide.

Potatoes were first domesticated in South America, and then Spanish explorers introduced them to Europe. Potatoes are the most consumed vegetable crop in the world. They are often thought of as comfort food.

Every age group, no matter which part of the world they are from, loves potatoes. They are an important staple food in most countries due to their nutritional value and easy availability.

Potatoes might help you in many health-related conditions like inflammation, constipation, digestion, and regularity improves metabolism and even give you good skin.

Potatoes often get a bad rep because of their high carbohydrate content, but they are an excellent source of vitamin c and vitamin B, and their skin is a good source of fibre.

Always look for firm potatoes that are free from cuts, spots, and bruises, or decay. It would help if you stored potatoes in a cool, dry place to help them stay fresh.

Potatoes are more energy-packed than any other popular vegetable and have even more potassium than a banana.

The Varieties of Potatoes

There are more than 4000 varieties of potatoes and also over 180 varieties of wild potatoes. They come in many sizes and shapes.

There are more than 100 different kinds of potatoes that vary in size, shape, and taste.

People worldwide eat most of their potatoes fresh, like French fries, hash browns, and richly mashed with butter and sour cream.

Each variety of potatoes has its taste, shape, colour, and health benefits. The vitamin C in potatoes acts as an antioxidant.

Potatoes are an excellent source of phytonutrients and antioxidants and including carotenoids and flavonoids.

Some of the most common potatoes are red, russet, Yukon gold, purple, yellow, petite, white, and Maris piper.

The 4 Most Common Types of potatoes

Here are some very commonly available types of potatoes from around the world.

Maris Piper

maris pipers

Maris Piper is the most common and widely grown crop since 1980. The defining feature of the Maris Piper is its fluffy texture.

Maris piper potatoes have golden skin and creamy white flesh.

What they can be used for?

It is best suitable for many uses, including chips, roast potatoes, and mashed potatoes. This variety is also ideal for processing into frozen or dehydrated products.

The fluffy texture makes it perfect for baking or using in mashes especially. Furthermore, they are the best potatoes for chips due their fluffiness.

Where to buy?

They are readily available in grocery stores or vegetable and fruit markets. 

What Do they taste like?​

These potatoes are drier than other varieties, which gives them their deliciously fluffy texture.

The fluffy, creamy texture inside makes this potato taste incredibly luscious and rich.

When are Maris Pipers in Season?

Maris piper potatoes are available all year round, and the peak season is in the late summer through early fall.

Plant seed potatoes in the spring when the soil temperature is at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Maris piper potatoes are ready for harvest 111 to 120 days after planting.

Red Potatos

red potatoes

Red potatoes are also called new potatoes because they are small to medium in size. Red potatoes are particularly healthy because of their thin and nutrient-filled skin.

The skin is super thin, so it does not detract from the taste or texture. Red potatoes have a slightly pink flesh inside.

They are very smooth, moist, and waxy potatoes. Sometimes even red potatoes have white flesh with some red strikes inside, and that is entirely normal.

Red potatoes are naturally sodium-free and high in potassium. They are a significant contributor to maintaining healthy blood pressure.

What they can be used for?

As red potatoes have a waxy texture, the flesh of red potatoes stays firm throughout cooking. You can add them to your stews as they maintain their shape well.

This property also makes them the best potatoes for roasting as they stay firm.

Their light red appealing colour can add colour and texture to your side dishes, and you can add them in salads, soups, pizzas. You can also have them baked or mashed.

You can roast or boil and bake a red potato and mix it with some herbs and seasoning, and it will be delicious and fat-free.

Where to buy?

You can buy red potatoes from every grocery store, supermarket, and vegetable market.

What Do they taste like?

Red potatoes are low in starch and are sweeter, and have medium sugar content. Red potatoes have a naturally buttery flavour and moist texture.

When are Red Potatoes in Season?

Plant your red potatoes in the spring once the soil is no longer soggy. Always keep in mind potatoes prefer cool springs.

However, you can grow red potatoes all year round.

Russet potatoes

russet potatoes

The russet potato is a large potato with dark brown skin and few eyes. Its flesh is white, pale, dry, and mealy.

They are oblong, and the russet potato’s skin is thick.

The Russet potato is starchy, with low moisture. This combination gives it its signature flaky flesh and helps keep it super absorbent.

The Russet potatoes are the UK’s most widely grown variety.

What they can be used for?

The immense absorbency of Russet potatoes means they soak up flavours incredibly well. You can use them to make the fluffiest baked potatoes.

You can also use them for boiling, mashing, and gnocchi.

Do not overwork this starchy potato. If you stir them too much when making mashed potatoes, your mixture can get gluey and unappetizing.

They have excellent frying capabilities, so we often use them for French fries, tater tots, and hash browns. Russet potatoes are great potatoes for baking.

Where to buy?

Readily available on every type of grocery store or vegetable market.

What Do they taste like?

Russet potatoes have a mild, earthy taste with medium content of sugar. Russet potatoes have a pleasantly bland flavour, which carries other flavours beautifully.

When are Russet Potatoes in Season?

Russet potatoes are available all year round, and their peak season is early winter through late spring.

Yukon gold potatoes

yukon gold

Yukon gold potatoes have a mildly yellow, flaky skin. Yukon gold potatoes are saturated fat-free, cholesterol-free, low in sodium, and a good vitamin C and potassium source.
Yukon gold potatoes are very versatile and a good source of nutrients. A single

Yukon Gold potato meets one-half of your daily vitamin c needs. Furthermore, it contains nearly twice the amount of vitamin C as a regular baking potato.

What they can be used for?

Yukon gold potatoes hold their shape best in water, but they tend to absorb tons of water. To prevent this problem, keep them whole while boiling.

You can use it in any cooking, so feel free to experiment using the Yukon Gold in any recipe. Yukon Golds resist greying and, in fact, will often develop a much brighter colour if you cook them in hard water.

Where to buy?

You can buy them easily from any vegetable market and grocery store.

What Do they taste like?

Its golden flesh has rich flavours and is relatively firm, and the flesh is moist with a mild starch content. The Yukon Gold potatoes are great for those who love potatoes, but they want to skip butter or margarine.

The rich taste of the Yukon Gold will let you skip adding anything to make it taste creamier.

When are Yukon Gold Potatoes in Season?

The best time to grow Yukon Gold potatoes is the summer, where you can quickly get a whole crop. However, these potatoes grow well in the autumn months too.

Yukon gold potatoes mature in 80 to 95 days after planting, so they can be considered an early crop. They grow in warmer climates too.

Conclusion

Picking the right type of potato for your dishes can make all the difference if you’re looking to give your food added finesse. Some potatoes are more suitable to boil, mash, fry, or sauté, as you’ve seen.

We may often feel guilty about having too many potatoes. However, if we have them in a healthy way, we can preserve their high nutritional component and have a nutritious meal.

These creamy potatoes can help you stay fuller for longer while giving you an incredibly hearty, delicious meal you won’t forget.

So, do your research before you head to get your groceries for the best cooking experience.

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Andy Canter

Andy

Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.

This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best! 

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