Potatoes are classified according to their starch content.The amount of starch determines the use for which they are usually considered most suitable. Keep in mind that these categories are only general.Within each group is a range of starch and moisture content. For example, different varieties of waxy potatoes have different moisture content, depending not only on the variety of potato but also on the growing and storage conditions.

1. Waxy potatoes.

High moisture content, high sugar content, low starch content.

Usually small and round in shape, but some varieties can be large, and some may be elongated. Flesh is white, yellow, or even blue or purple. Skin is white, red, yellow, or blue.

Hold shape well when cooked. Firm, moist texture.

Use for boiling whole, for salads, soups, hashed browns, and any preparation where the potato must hold its shape.

Do not use for deep-frying. High sugar content will cause dark streaks and poor texture.

Waxy potatoes, clockwise from top left: small and large red-skinned potatoes, white potatoes, large and small yellow potatoes.

2. Mature or starchy potatoes.

High starch content,low moisture and sugar.

Light, dry, and mealy when cooked.

• Russets or Idahos.

Long,regularly shaped potatoes with slightly rough skin.

Ideal choice for the traditional baked potato. Best potato for French fries because the high starch content produces an even, golden color and good texture. Also, the regular shape means little trimming loss.

May be mashed, but is generally too expensive for that purpose.

Sizes are indicated by count per 50-pound carton. For example, 100s average 8 ounces each. Starchy potatoes, left to right: russet potatoes,

• All-purpose (sometimes called chef potatoes). all-purpose or chef p°tat°es.

Not as dry and starchy as russets.

Irregularly shaped. Less expensive than russets.

Suitable for most purposes, but not usually used for baking because of irregular shape. Especially useful for pureeing or mashing, or any preparation in which the shape of the whole potato is not important.

Note: Very knobby potatoes are wasteful when pared in a mechanical peeler.

Continue reading here: Varieties

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