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Potatoes 101

The Martha Stewart Show, October/November 2007

When choosing a potato for a recipe, keep texture in mind: Waxy potatoes are high in moisture and low in starch, and tend to hold shape when cooked; floury potatoes are high in starch and low in moisture.

Yukon Gold
-Yukon gold potatoes are the result of crossbreeding a North American white potato with a wild South American yellow-fleshed variety.
-Originated in Canada and made its way to the U.S. in the early 1980s.
-Waxy, pale, yellow flesh with firm texture.
-Great for roasting and frying, and works well in soups, stews, and gratins.

Russet Potatoes
-Most widely used variety in the United States.
-Characterized by netted brown skin and white flesh.
-High starch content and fluffy interior makes them ideal for baking, mashing, and making french fries.

White Potatoes
-Smooth, light-tan skin with medium starch level.
-Dense, creamy in texture, and holds its shape well after cooking.
-All-purpose potato: Great for roasting, baking, steaming, and boiling.

Red Potatoes
-Red, rosy skin, but can have white, yellow, or even red flesh.
-Firm, smooth, moist texture.
-Are well-suited for salads, roasting, boiling, and steaming.
-Smaller reds are referred to as "new potatoes," meaning they're harvested before reaching maturity.

Purple Potatoes
-Uncommon tubers have subtle, nutty flavor.
-Flesh can be dark blue, lavender, or white.
-Great for steaming and baking.

Fingerling Potatoes
-Small, narrow potato that is a young tuber.
-Firm texture that is moist to dry.
-Great for roasting whole, baking, boiling, or steaming.

Care Tips
-When selecting a potato, be sure it is firm, plump, and free of soft spots, blemishes, and sprouts.
-Potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark place with good ventilation (40 to 50 degrees fahrenheit).
-If stored properly, potatoes will stay fresh for several weeks.
-If they develop green areas and begin to sprout, be sure to trim off before cooking.

Special Thanks
Special thanks to Sterman-Masser Potato Farms for providing the beautiful potatoes used on today's show.

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