Types of Potatoes

Published on: Mar 26 2011 by Zaheer

Potato is a type of vegetable, especially a tuberous vegetable which is a member of family Solanaceae. It grows underground as a root of the plant. Potatoes were first produced around 200 BC in Peru by the local inhabitants known as Inca Indians. However, it is important to mention here that the 99 percent potatoes produced these days are derived from a subspecies produced in south-central Chile. This subspecies of potato was brought to Europe in 16th century by the Spanish explorers and conquerors.

Different Types of Potatoes

Surprisingly, there are over 5,000 known varieties of potatoes from which only few varieties are commonly used for cooking. Some of the most common types of potatoes are given below:

Yellow Potatoes

Yellow potatoes have gained a decent popularity in the United States over the past few years. Yellow potatoes come in flat, round or slightly oval-shape. The flesh of these potatoes is yellow with a yellowish or light brown peel. Yellow potatoes get their yellow color from the presence of a chemical called anthoxanthins which is antioxidant. A small amount of starch is also present in these potatoes. These are commonly used in boiling, mashing, baking and roasting. Yellow Fin, Michigold, Delta Gold, Carola, Nicola are some of the varieties of yellow potatoes where Yukon Gold being the most popular among them.

Round White Potatoes

Round white potatoes are round in shape. It has a flesh of white or creamy color enclosed in a light brown, smooth outer skin. Like yellow potatoes, they also contain medium level of starch. These potatoes are used in all sorts of potato dishes. These are used in boiled, mashed, roasted and fried and keep its texture after cooking. Atlantic, Kennebec and Superior are some of the common varieties of round white potatoes.

Long White Potatoes

Long white potatoes are the potatoes which are low in starch content. There are varieties of long white potatoes which only have 25 percent of starch (carbohydrates and mineral salts) content in them and the rest 75 percent is water. These potatoes have white to light white to pale brown outer skin. These potatoes are easy to digest and even assist intestinal functions. These are equally good for both diabetics and obese. One can eat them boiled, mashed, fried, and baked. They also keep their shape after cooking. The other names given to these potatoes are white rose and California long whites.

Red Potatoes

Red potatoes as the name suggests have rosy red or reddish-brown outer skin in which enclosed a white colored flesh. The flesh can even be yellow or red in few varieties. These potatoes are also low in starch content. These are also consumed in boiled, mashed, roasted, and grilled form. Red potatoes are also used in salads. Red Norland, Red LaSoda and Red Pontiac are some of the varieties of red potatoes.

Russet

Russet potatoes are potatoes which are known for their brown net-like skin that surrounds the white flesh. Russet potatoes have oval shape with lots of shallow eyes. Once cooked, these potatoes become soft, fluffy or flossy. Russet potatoes are widely preferred for making French fries. However, these are also good for baking, mashing, roasting, frying etc. Russet potatoes grow to the size of 10-15 cm.

Fingerling

Fingerling potatoes are the potatoes which are relatively smaller than other varieties of potatoes and can reach to the size of 7 cm. These are called fingerling because of their elongated shape along with bumps which make them look like fingers. The flesh of these potatoes is yellow in color surrounded by a thin outer skin. It is not necessary to peel the skin off as it can be cooked. A large range of varieties of fingerling potatoes are known which are creamy-white to purple. Purple Peruvian, Russian Banana, Ruby Crescent and long white fingerlings are some of the common varieties of fingerlings.

Purple and Blue Potatoes

Purple potatoes and blue potatoes are same. They normally have a blue or purple skin and flesh which make them distinguished from other varieties of the potatoes. These potatoes get their blue or purple color from the blue pigmented antioxidant, anthoxyanin which is found in them. These potatoes are produced in the South America. These are used in salads as well as in baked, roasted, fried and boiled form. All Blue, Purple Peruvian and Purple Viking are some of the common varieties of purple and blue potatoes.

At first, potatoes were considered as the poisonous crop by the ancient Europeans. Later, it was taken as a healthy vegetable which has now become the fourth largest grown crop in the world. Potatoes contain carbohydrates, vitamins and certain essential mineral that are good for human body such as high level of potassium, fiber, vitamin C and vitamin B6.


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