PotAYto - PotAHto?

What's up with all the different varieties of potatoes? Find out the advantages of all the most common (and tasty!) types!

Did you know there are close to 4000 different varieties of potatoes?! That’s a ton of taters! Over 100 of those are edible varieties. While it’s true that we don’t see most of those in our typical grocery store or kitchen, there are usually about 6-10 varieties available to us. Some folks just think “eh, potayto, potahto, right?” Does it actually make a difference? Well, believe it or not, the starch content, size, and density can drastically affect the way potatoes cook. Let’s take a look at the various types and what recipes each potato is best suited for.

They are considered “all purpose” potatoes. This means they have medium starch content, skin, and flesh density. They are also incredibly easy to find in the supermarket, so that’s a plus! They can be used for roasting and baking as well as frying and boiling.

They are known for having a much firmer texture than yellow potatoes. They stand up well to extended cooking like in soups. They are also great for potato salads and will maintain their shape in au gratin and scalloped preparations.

These potatoes have a very high starch content, which makes them the perfect choice for baking. They can also produce a very hearty mashed potato dish as long as they have been thoroughly boiled and make smooth by extended cooking.

Low in starch, this option is great for boiling as they don’t need excessive cooking and can absorb creamy sauces well. Similarly, they can be great for roasting with herbs and garlic.

Also known at purple potatoes, this choice is your middle of the road option. With medium size and starch content, they are very versatile. Not quite all purpose, but close! Potato Salad, oven baked fries, and hash browns are just a few of the great ways they can be prepared.

Shaped, quite literally, like fingers these potatoes are perfect for roasting with other root vegetables of similar size. They are low in starch, so they aren’t ideal for mashing. Try pan frying them in butter with raw herbs for an uptown side dish.