Types Of Potatoes


Understanding the Different Types of Potatoes

While on a grocery trip, you’ve no doubt noticed the incredible number of different types of potatoes that are available for purchase. If you’re like most people, however, you probably don’t know the differences between these types of potatoes and which ones are suited best for certain styles of cooking.



If you are among the uninformed or simply seeking to learn more about previously un-purchased potato varieties, then this article will serve you well. Listed below are the three main types of potatoes and specific varieties within as well as what types of cooking and foods they are best utilized in.

Baking Potatoes

Potatoes are generally grouped by the amount of starch that they contain. Baking potatoes, for instance, are potatoes that contain high amounts of starch. In general, they have a tendency to be long in shape with coarse skin that may resemble the texture of a cork. While raw, the texture of the inner body is dry and mealy, but when fully cooked the texture turns fluffy and easily manipulated.

Baking potatoes are good for much more than simply accompanying a steak with sour cream and chives. They make wonderfully fluffy and creamy mashed potatoes, are ideal for french fries, and have the best consistency for hash browns and any other type of fried potato. If you are in the market for a good baking or frying potato, then the next time you peruse the produce section, consider picking up a few Idaho, Russet, Goldrush, Norkotah, or White Rose potatoes.

Boiling Potatoes

Boiling potatoes do not contain as much starch as baking potatoes. They do, however, contain pectin that allows the potato to remain intact during the boiling process or when the potatoes are put into soups and stews. Boiling potatoes, also called waxy potatoes, can come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Unlike baking potatoes that are generally long, boiling potatoes come in long and round varieties. Their skins are smooth and thin, with a waxy textured flesh inside.

Because they have high moisture content, boiling potatoes are ideal for potato salads, casseroles, stews, and even barbecuing. Their pectin allows them to maintain their shape so that even when they are peeled and sliced, they will not degrade. While it is possible to mash these potatoes, the end result is usually a thick, lumpy substance.

Several boiling potatoes are available at your local grocery store. If you are wondering what types of potatoes to add to your stew for dinner, consider trying white, red, or yellow round potatoes. You can also try red potatoes, salad potatoes, La Sodas, Red La Rouges, Red Pontiacs, Ruby Crescents, Red Bliss potatoes, and Yellow Finnish potatoes. Each has their own unique and delicious qualities.

All-Purpose Potatoes

If your family is on a tight budget, has limited pantry space, or if you simply don’t have enough time to deal with multiple potato varieties, you may want to consider utilizing all-purpose potatoes instead. All-purpose potatoes have more moisture than regular baking potatoes and can therefore hold up to roasting, soups, and gratins. In addition to this, they can also be baked, mashed, and fried, but the results will not be as delectable as with baking potatoes.

Good all-purpose potato varieties include the Yukon Gold, Peruvian Blue, Katahdin, Kennebec, and Superior potato. While your grocery store may not house all of these varieties, it is usually a safe bet that Yukon Gold potatoes will be available to you.

Whether your purposes are baking, boiling, frying, or mashing, do not be afraid to try new potatoes. Look for the distinguishing characteristics such as skin and shape, and you will surely be able to find a potato suitable for your needs.