Tired of the same old baked potato?
You can add variety to your meals by tossing riced potatoes with melted butter or margarine, serving pan-roasted potatoes with your favorite meat, or making your own french-fried potatoes.The basic types of potatoes are: russet, round red, round white and long white. "New" potatoes are not a variety of potato; they are potatoes that have come to market directly from the field and are not placed in storage. They are generally harvested to be smaller in size with a unique skin texture, and are available all year in limited quantities.
The Potato Board has the following tips for buying, storing and cooking potatoes:
- Look for potatoes that are fairly clean, firm and smooth. Avoid potatoes that are wrinkled or have wilted skins, soft dark areas, cut surfaces or a green appearance. For even cooking, choose potatoes of uniform size.
- Store potatoes in a cool, humid (but not wet) dark place that's well ventilated. The ideal temperatures are 45 degrees F to 50 degrees F. At temperatures much over that, potatoes should not be stored for more than one week. Warmer temperatures encourage sprouting and shriveling.
- Don't refrigerate uncooked potatoes. Below 40 degrees F, potatoes will develop a sweet taste, the result of an accumulation of sugars in the tubers. This increased accumulation of sugar will cause the potato to darken when cooked.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to light, which causes potatoes to turn green. This greening causes a bitter flavor so it should be pared off before the potato is used.
- To prepare potatoes for cooking, gently scrub them with a vegetable brush or cellulose sponge to clean. Peeled potatoes turn dark if not cooked right away. To protect their whiteness, toss them with a little ascorbic acid or lemon juice. Prolonged soaking of potatoes in cold water is not recommended as it can result in some vitamin loss.