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One potato, two potato, three potato, more

There are lots of different varieties of potatoes, so how do you know which to choose? Consider what you will be doing with the potatoes. Baking? Frying? Potato salad? Here is a run down on common varieties found at grocery stores and farm markets, and also where you can source unusual types of seed potatoes to grow your own.

These russet potatoes are easy to find and easy to grow.
These russet potatoes are easy to find and easy to grow.
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There are many different types of potatoes, how do you know which to choose?
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  • Russet potatoes are a common type of potato found nearly everywhere. They are medium to large potatoes with a light to medium russet brown skin. These potatoes are perfect for baking, frying and mashing, also good roasted.
  • Red potatoes are small to medium in size and are great for soups, stews, salads, mashed and roasting. They stay firm when cooked and the skin can be very appealing in mashed potatoes and since the most vitamins and nutrients are found in the skins, is a healthy way to eat them. Round reds are often referred to as “new potatoes,” but the term “new” refers to any type of potato that is harvested before reaching maturity.
  • White potatoes are small to medium in size and have white or tan skin with white flesh. Very good type of potato for steaming, boiling, frying, and salads.
  • Yellow potatoes are tiny to large in size, light tan to golden skin color with yellow or golden flesh. They are very good mashed, grilled, roasted and in salads and with their buttery taste allows you to use much less butter. Grilling them gives yellow potatoes a crispy skin that is phenomenal.
  • Purple/Blue potatoes are small to medium in size and are very popular at farm markets. The flesh may be deep blue, purple, lavender, pink or white. They have a higher starch content with a floury texture. They are good roasted, grilled, in salads and baked.
  • Fingerling potatoes are 2-4 inches long; finger-shaped or oblong; red, orange, purple or white skin; red orange, purple, yellow or white flesh. These potatoes are good pan fried, roasted and are a great change of pace in potato salads.

You can find seed potatoes for lots of these more unusual types of potatoes on line. Here are recommended sites where you can order, but sure to order early in the season as most of these sites have already sold out for 2014.