See also: Classifying Potatoes; Discoloring of Cooked Potatoes; Baked Potatoes in Foil; Baked Potato Recipe; Search for the Perfect Potato
POTATO VARIETIES: TYPES OF POTATOES
This is the most widely used potato variety in the United States. A large majority is grown in the Northwest. These are available year-round. These potatoes are high in starch and are characterized by netted brown skin and white flesh. Russets are light and fluffy when cooked, making them ideal for baking and mashing. They are also wonderful for frying and roasting.
Round White Potatoes
These potatoes are available year-round. Round whites are medium in starch level and have smooth, light tan skin with white flesh. These are creamy in texture and hold their shape well after cooking. Regarded an all-purpose potato, round whites are very versatile and can be used in most potato preparations.
Long White Potatoes
Long whites are oval-shaped, medium in starch level and have thin, light tan skin. These potatoes have a firm, creamy texture when cooked. They are available spring through summer. These all-purpose potatoes are very versatile and can be used in most potato preparations.
These potatoes have become more widely available and can now be found almost all year round. They are characterized by their rosy red skin, but can have white, yellow or even red flesh. Red potatoes have a firm, smooth and moist texture, making them well suited for salads, roasting, boiling and steaming. Round reds are often referred to as "new potatoes"; however, technically, "new" refers to any variety of potatoes that is harvested before reaching maturity.
These potatoes are increasingly popular in the United States and are now available for most of the year. These potatoes have a dense, creamy texture. With their golden color, you can be fooled into thinking that they are buttered. They are great for roasting, baking, boiling and steaming.
Blue and Purple Potatoes
These potatoes originated in South America and have begun to gain popularity in the United States. Blue and purple potatoes are most available in the fall. These relatively uncommon tubers have a subtle nutty flavor and flesh that ranges in hue from dark blue or lavender to white. Microwaving preserves the color the best, but steaming and baking are also favorable methods of preparation.
The United States Potato Board (USPB)