Guide to Potato Varieties

Fresh potatoes are a mainstay in most American pantries. Here's a look from the National Potato Promotion Board at the major potato varieties.

Russets
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.
Long whites
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 scalloped dishes.
Round whites
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.
Round reds
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.
 

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