Fresh potatoes are a mainstay in most American pantries. Here's a look from the National
Potato Promotion Board at the major potato varieties.
This is the most widely used variety of potato in America. High-starch russets have netted
brown skin and white flesh that turns fluffy when cooked. Russets are especially favored for
baking, roasting, mashing, and frying. Russets are available year-round and a large majority is
grown in the Northwest.
Primarily grown in California and available from spring through summer, long whites are
medium-starched potatoes with an oval shape and thin, light tan skin. Their firm, waxy texture
makes them especially popular for boiling, roasting, and for use in salads, stews, soups, and
These potatoes have a smooth, light tan skin and waxy texture. They're grown and used most
often in the eastern United States and are available year-round. Their firm texture enables
round whites to hold their shape after cooking, making them ideal for salads and for roasted,
mashed, and steamed preparations.
These potatoes have a rosy red skin and white flesh. Although they're often referred to as
new potatoes, technically new refers to all potatoes that are prematurely harvested. Round reds
are available mostly in late summer and early fall. The firm, waxy texture lends itself well to
potato salads, roasting, boiling, and frying.
||Yellow flesh potatoes
Yellow inside, this variety has a mild buttery texture. Availability is best in late summer
and early fall. This variety is popular for roasting and mashing.
||Blue & purple potatoes
These potatoes have flesh that ranges from white to lavender to dark blue. They have a
somewhat nutty flavor. Microwaving preserves the color best, but steaming and baking also are
good preparation methods. Availability is best in the fall.