Potatoes

Potatoes are the edible tubers of the Solanaceae tuberosum plant, native to the Peruvian-Bolivian Andes. Now a staple crop around the world, the Spanish introduced the potato to Europe following the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire in the later 16th century.

Potatoes are a very versatile crop, which can be prepared in a number of ways. They vary in their starch content, which changes how they react to cooking methods. High starch potatoes are better for baking, mashing, and frying. Medium starch potatoes are pretty much all-purpose, and hold their shape well, making them the best potato for roasting and gratins. Low starch potatoes are best used for potato salads.

Varieties:

The interior is white, the skin varies from brown and rough to buff-coloured and smooth.

  • Russet Burbank
  • Russet Norkotah
  • Frontier Russet
  • Shepody
Usually large, round or oval, with light to medium skin. The flesh is white or yellow.

  • Kennebec
  • Superior
  • Cherokee
  • Yukon Gold
Rosy red, thin, glossy skins, but otherwise similar to round whites.

  • Chieftain
  • Rideau
  • Norland
  • Sangre
Potatoes are:

  • Highly digestible.
  • High in fibre, as well as antioxidants.
  • Source of complex carbohydrates.
  • Supply of vitamin C, protein, thiamine and niacin.
Look for dry, firm potatoes, free of spots, bruises, cuts, and cracks.

Avoid potatoes already sprouting, as they have been stored too long.

Do not pick up greening potatoes.

Be sure to store potatoes in a cool, dark area, and keep them dry.

Keep in mind that light exposure turns potatoes green.

Use potatoes within 2 weeks of purchase.

Be sure to scrub potatoes and check for spots before using.

Russet Potatoes are high in starch, and good for potato pancakes, fries, and mashed potatoes.

White Potatoes are medium starch potatoes, and they’re pretty much great all-around.

Red Potatoes have medium to low starch, and they’re good for potato salad, or just boiled or steamed with butter!

Yukon Gold Potatoes have medium to low starch as well, and while are good for boiling or steaming, are not so good for salads.

potatoes
Seasonal Availability:
January to December

Nutrition per 1 potato (156 g), baked:

Nutrient Value
Calories 145
Protein 3 g
Carbohydrates 34 g
Total Sugar 3 g
Total Dietary Fibre 3.4 g
Calcium 8 mg
Iron 0.5 mg
Sodium 8 mg
Potassium 610 mg
Magnesium 39 mg
Vitamin C 20 mg

Provided by Health Canada