Potato Chat March 2021: Pick the spud for the job!

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How to pick the right potato for the job!

Ever been disappointed with your mash or roasties? It might be down to the type of potato you’ve chosen.

It can be confusing trying to choose the right spuds for what you want to cook when you’re in the supermarket. Here’s how to get it right every time!

Potatoes range from waxy to floury in texture.

Waxy potatoes are best for boiling and making potato salad. New potatoes tend to be waxy.

These potatoes have a high water content and are low in starch. They have a dense texture and keep their shape during cooking.

Varieties that are waxy:

  • Nadine
  • Draga
  • Frisia
  • Jersey Bennie
  • Red King Edward
  • Highlander
  • Osprey
  • Tiffany
  • Annabelle
  • Gourmandine
  • Marilyn
Floury potatoes are best for mashing, roasting and making chips. They are low in water content and high in starch. They have a fluffy, dry texture, break up easily when cooked and absorb more liquid.

Varieties that are floury:

  • Agria
  • Fianna
  • Red Jackets
  • Laura
  • Red Rascal
  • Victoria
“All Purpose” potatoes are in the middle – not too floury, not too waxy. These can be used for everything . All purpose potatoes are versatile, but they probably won’t make the best-ever version of anything.

Varieties to look for:

  • Rua
  • Moonlight
  • Vivaldi Gold
  • Frisia
  • Ilam Hardy
  • Maris Anchor
  • Desiree
How to choose potatoes

First: look for end use: baking, roasting, boiling, etc. If you can’t find that – look for the variety; usually this is on the neck tag.

Did you know?

Potato texture changes throughout the year. For some potatoes, e.g. Ilam Hardy, early in the season (October) they are quite waxy. A mid-season Ilam Hardy is a good general purpose potato, while towards the end of the season a lot more of the natural sugars have converted to starch, so it tends to be floury.

Choosing the right potato for the job will make a huge difference to the quality of your mash, roasties and potato salads.