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Choosing the Perfect Potato

Do you know the perfect variety of potato to use for making mashed potatoes? What about the right one for baked? Does it make a difference which type of potato you use when preparing a specific recipe or are all potatoes created equally?

You may be surprised to find out that it really DOES make a difference in what type of potato you choose when you cook. Using the right potato for the recipe can result in a dish that is comforting and delicious. The wrong type of potato, however, may result in a dish that is edible but definitely not as good as you know it can be or it could turn out all wrong and not enjoyable at all.

Which type of potato do you use when choosing different methods of cooking? Here are some hints to help you choose the perfect potato for the dish you are preparing:

  • Mashed potatoes have been a comfort food for hundreds of years. Choosing the right potato will result in smooth, creamy potatoes with just the right amount of lumps. For mashed potatoes, the best type of potato to choose is one that is waxy. Yukon gold, white rose and red rose potatoes are your best bet when making mashed potatoes because they aren’t as starchy as other potatoes. Stay away from russet or Idaho potatoes as they are too starchy and result in mashed potatoes that are mealy rather than smooth.
  • Potato salad is another dish that people find comfort in. Because the potatoes will have to be boiled, you’ll want to use the same variety of potato as you would when making mashed potatoes. Choose a variety that is less starchy and your potato salad will turn out perfect every time.
  • Baked potatoes will have a crisp outside and white fluffy goodness on the inside. Unlike mashed potatoes or potato salad, when baking potatoes you want one that is starchy and will result in a fluffy inside. The russet potato is the perfect choice for this application.
  • French fries are one of the most common ways people eat potatoes. You’ll want to choose a high starch potato like a russet or Idaho for making homemade French fries. Or, if you can’t make the perfect fry at home, they can be found at most fast food restaurants.

As you can see, not all potatoes will produce the same texture when cooked. If you’re a potato lover and you want your dishes to come out perfect, the extra time and effort you spend selecting the right potatoes can make all the difference in the world.