Let’s be real for a second, potatoes are the best vegetable out there. They taste great it literally any form; cooked, mashed, fried, baked, or even just as skins. Preparing potatoes is also extremely easy, just salt them and bake them. The only hard part about potatoes is actually buying the right type. When it comes to potatoes, there are three categories; starchy, waxy, and all-purpose. Starchy potatoes are (obviously) higher in starch and low in moisture, making them great for boiling, baking and frying. Because they don’t hold their shape very well, they should be avoided in dishes like casseroles, gratins and salads. Waxy potatoes have low starch content and are characterised as creamy and firm and are used for everything that starchy potatoes can’t be used for. Similarly, all-purpose potatoes have a medium starch content and can be used for just about anything. Once you familiarise yourself with these, you can make just about any potato dish you like. We’ve outlined all the potato varieties for you below for an even better understanding.
Yukon Gold – All Purpose:
Yukon Gold potatoes have finely flaked yellowish skin with a yellow flesh. They’re slightly sweet, with a smooth, waxy texture and best for boiling, baking, or making French fries. They also work well when grilling, pan frying or roasting.
Purple Peruvian – All Purpose:
Purple Peruvian potatoes have deep purple skin and flesh. The flesh is either uniform throughout or marbled with an inky purple. They’re have a buttery yet nutty after taste and a dry and starchy texture for boiling, baking, roasting, frying and grilling.
Idaho Russet – Starchy:
Russet skinned potatoes with a white flesh with a neutral potato flavour making it best for mashing, baking, and fries. Since they’re extremely absorbent, they’re perfect to pour butter or cream over.
Katahdin – Starchy:
Known as the French fry potatoes, they have a smooth yellowish flesh with a creamy texture and flavour. They can also be used for mashed potatoes, boiling, etc.
Red Bliss – Waxy:
A bright red skin paired with a contrasting white flesh, the Red Bliss is slightly firm and bitter with a waxy texture.
New Potatoes – Waxy:
New potatoes are any type of potato harvested too young, before the sugars can convert into starch. They’re sweet, firm, creamy and very waxy. Use them for boiling, steaming, roasting or in soups, but don’t use them for baking.
Adirondack Blue – Waxy:
These potatoes have a purple skin with a purple flesh that fades into a shade of blue when mashed or roasted.
Adirondack Red – Waxy:
Adirondack Red potatoes have red skin with pink to red flesh that’s either opaque or in a starburst pattern. Their colour fades with boiling but fades only slightly to a shade of mauve after other methods of cooking.