Potato Types

The Different Potato Types

When purchasing potatoes, most people buy whatever is on sale and do not recognize the different potato types. But there are potatoes that can be used for different dishes that actually taste better and are grown to accompany certain foods. Potatoes come in 2 categories. One can be used for baking and the other for boiling. This all has to do with the amount of starch in each of the different potato types.

A baking potato has much more starch than a boiling potato. The boiling potato does not have as much starch so it stays together better in stews or soups. The skin is pitted and course and the inside of the baking potato is dry and starchy. The baking potato is perfect for baking and frying. These are the potato types used for making french fries.

The boiling potato is known as a waxy potato. They are high in sugar and are very moist but they are low in starch. You can recognize a boiling potato by its waxy, fleshy insides. The outside skin is thin and smooth.

There are so many different potato types. Most of them fall into the baking or boiling categories but a few can be an equal mix of both types.

Perhaps the most commonly used potato is the yellow potato. They are oval shaped, round or flat and have a yellow thinner skin. The potato is yellow because it contains anthoxanthins and this works as an antioxidant within the body, possibly increasing its popularity. This is a type of potato that can be used either in boiling or baking. The most common name for this potato at the grocery store is the Yukon gold.

White round potatoes have a medium starch content. So they can be used for either baking or boiling. They are usually round in shape, which is why they are referred to as round potatoes. The skin for this potato is an off white to tan color and they can be found listed under the names of Kennebec or Atlantic potatoes.

Long white potatoes can aid in the digestion process because they naturally contain a lot of water. They are oval shaped and also have a light tan skin. They have a lower starch level so they are perfect for people who have blood sugar problems or for people who are overweight. They can also be used for either boiling or baking. They are usually listed under the names of either white rose or California long white potatoes.

Red potatoes are another commonly used type of potato. They are round shaped and have a reddish type skin. The flesh of this type of potato is usually white but they can also be a yellow to light red color. They are used for boiling and grilling but they are not good for backing. You can find them in your local grocery store listed as either red Norland or red Pontiac potatoes.


Russet potatoes are another popular brand. They have a brown heart skin and white flesh. They are oval shaped and they become very soft when cooked. These potatoes are high in starch and they can also grow to be very large. They are known for producing the best tasting french fries but they do not make good boiling potatoes. They are usually listed by their russet potato name.

Potatoes were once considered to be poisonous. But we now know that they contain essential vitamins and antioxidants that are helpful for the body. Contrary to popular belief, potatoes do not contain fat or cholesterol. But the way they are prepared makes all the difference in the world. Incorporating different potato types can add flavor and texture to any dish.