All about Spuds11/22/2018 - 13:28
Tell me about it, spud
Cook ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew – there are so many ways to enjoy your taters.
There are over 16 types of potatoes available, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll just grab whichever potatoes are on sale and cook them according to your mood on the night.
Although not every potato variety is available all year round, it is true that certain potatoes fare better for some recipes than others. So if your homemade wedges aren’t turning out as crispy as you’d like, it’s not that you’re a bad chef, it could be that you’re just using the wrong type of potato!
This post is dedicated to exploring the properties and varieties of the all-mighty spud.
Potatoes tend to fall into one of three categories: starchy, waxy and all-purpose.
Here’s a handy table for you:
The starchy kinds of potatoes are perfect for baking, frying and mashing due to their high starch content and low moisture. They have rougher skin on the outside and creamy white flesh on the inside that has a lovely flour-like texture.
Great for: hot chips, wedges, hash browns, crispy potatoes, potato cakes, jacket potatoes.
Note: although you can use starchy potatoes for mashing (they absorb butters and milks really well, making them super fluffy), be careful not to overwork them, as your mash will become heavier and overly starchy.
As the name suggests, the waxy types of potatoes have a waxy skin on the outside and creamy, yet firmer flesh on the inside. They tend to be smaller in size and have higher moisture content compared to their starchy counterparts; making them ideal for boiling, roasting and slicing.
Great for: casseroles, soups and potato salads.
Note: Although these potatoes are firmer and keep to their shape, they are not ideal for deep frying or baking. Waxier kinds can be mashed too. They require more effort, butter, milk and cream to break down but they produce a creamier, very decadent result.
Again, the name for these potatoes is self explanatory – excellent for all/most purposes. These types are the in-betweeners of the potato family. They’re not as starchy as the Starchy kind because they’ve got a bit more moisture but they can also hold their own in boiling water like their waxy siblings.
So naturally, they can be used for most potato recipes.
Great for: roasting, pan-fried, stews, soups, salads, mashed, baked, deep-fried.
Note: Although you can use all-purpose potatoes for all purposes, keep in mind that they might not produce the same results if a particular recipe calls for the use of a starchy or waxy potato type.
For example, they may not create the same fluffy texture the way a starchy potato would when mashed.
However you like them, potatoes are arguably one of the tastiest, most versatile veggies around.
Long live the taters!
What are some of your favourite potato recipes?