Have you ever wondered which potato is the correct type for the dishes you are making? A lot of us do. We can not ignore the importance of potato selection. Following the following aspects, you will benefit a lot.
Knowing the starch level of potatoes can help you determine the potato’s purpose. High-starch potatoes have a light, mealy texture, which is best for baking, mashing, and french-frying. The medium-starch potatoes are also called all-purpose potatoes. They are more moister than high-starch potatoes, suitable for roasting or making into gratins. And the low-starch potatoes are best for salads. They can be called boiling or waxy potatoes, cohesive cell structure makes them hold their shape better than other types of potato.
The moisture content of potatoes is crucial during french-frying. A potato that is too wet has a low solids content and tends to have a waxy, soggy texture after frying. If too dry, the potatoes will tend to be too hard and crunchy when fried.
Varieties of Potatoes
* Russet Potatoes
Characterized by a rough brown skin and white flesh, russet potatoes are the top potato for french fries due to their higher starch content and lower moisture. They hold their shape and make a crispy fry. Its oval shape is good for making long french or steak fries.
* White Potatoes
Compared to russets, white potatoes have smoother, thinner, and lighter-colored skin. They are creamy when baked yet hold their texture when boiled. Therefore, they are best for gratins.
* Red Potatoes
Red potatoes look especially attractive and delicious when they are new. They hold their shape when boiled and sliced so that they are good to be steamed and buttered or made into potato salads. Larger, more mature ones tend to have a slightly higher starch content.
* New Potatoes
New potatoes can be any variety. They refer to the immature potatoes that are harvested before optimum ripeness. New potatoes have thin and tender skin. They are often boiled whole and tossed with butter and fresh parsley. Compared with mature potatoes, new potatoes have a shorter shelf life.
* Fingerling Potatoes
As the name implies, fingerling potatoes are shaped like fingers. Their skin is thin and tender. They are so small that you can boil them whole with skin intact, thus they don’t absorb as much water as potato chunks, making them great for potato salad.