Selection and storage
Choose potatoes that are firm and avoid potatoes that are soft, have a green tinge, shoots or a wrinkly skin. Potatoes can be brought washed or brushed, where some soil remains on the skin. Some types of potatoes such as Sebagoâ€™s cannot be commercially washed without damaging the potato so are only available brushed. It is preferable to store potatoes in an open or perforated bag in the fridge or otherwise a cool, dark, dry place. Exposure to direct sunlight can turn potatoes green and bitter. Green potatoes and potato sprouts are high in the alkaloid solanine, which can be toxic if eaten in large quantities.
Most potato varieties are available all year round from different growing areas.
Potatoes that are low in sugar and moisture are floury. Floury potatoes are good for baking, mashing and frying. Waxy potatoes have a high moisture content and low starch content. Waxy potatoes are good for boiling or salads and maintain their shape. There are a number of all purpose potatoes that cannot be classified as waxy or floury and are suitable for a number of uses.
If leaving the skin on wash the potatoes before use. Otherwise peel thinly, much of the potatoes nutritional value is in the skin. Potatoes are good with chives, parsley, rosemary, garlic, dairy, bacon, salad leaves, spinach, and mushrooms.
Potatoes have lots of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, including potassium, niacin, vitamins B6 and C, and manganese. In recent years potatoes have been avoided by those on a low carb or low GI (gylceamic index) diet. Different potatoes have differing levels of GI. Lower GI potatoes include Nicola and Charisma.