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POTATOES: Different ways of classifying

One way of classifying potatoes is whether they are 'Starchy' or 'Waxy':

STARCHY POTATOES have low moisture and sugar levels, but a high starch content. This makes them the better potato for baked, mashed, fried, or roasted potatoes. With the low sugar content they collapse better.

WAXY POTATOES are just the opposite, with high moisture levels and low starch levels. They are good candidates for salads or casseroles because they hold their shape well when cooking. 'New' red skin potatoes are waxy potatoes.

Another way to classify potatoes:

NEW POTATOES: Most frequently used to describe those freshly harvested and marketed during the late winter or early spring. The name is also widely used in later crop producing areas to designate freshly dug potatoes which are not quite fully matured. Best used for boiling or creaming. They vary widely in size and shape, depending upon variety, but are likely to be affected by 'skinning' or 'feathering' of the outer layer of skin. This skinning usually affects only their appearance. 

GENERAL PURPOSE POTATOES: Includes the great majority of supplies offered for sale in the markets, both round and long types. With the aid of air-cooled storage, they are available year-round. They are used for boiling, frying and baking, although many are not the best for baking.

BAKING POTATOES: Both variety and area where grown are important factors affecting baking quality. The Russet Burbank, a long variety with fine, scaly netting on the skin is the most widely grown and is the best known.



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