The potato is an annual plant that, as a type of food, ranks fourth in the world in importance, after corn, wheat and rice. And, as an essential product that is part of our gastronomy, we are going to review its varieties and uses so that you can handle them perfectly.
Potatoes are a good source of calories, have some micronutrients and are also high in protein, especially compared to other roots and plants. In fact, it is one of the main products of the earth, along with vegetables and fruits.
Once harvested, the potato is used for various purposes and not just as a vegetable to prepare at home. In reality, potatoes eaten fresh are less than 50% of world production. In that 50% are our dishes with potatoes, from patatas bravas to side dishes or tortillas. The rest is used to obtain food and industrial feed ingredients: feed for cattle, pigs and poultry, starch and ethanol (fuel) for industry or it is also used as seed for the next harvest.
The different types of potato differ, among other things, by the color of their skin and pulp, their size or shape, the roughness, the depth of the eyes (depressions from which new roots emerge) and, to a large extent, by its ripening or harvesting cycle.
Most common types of potatoes
The best-selling potato, the current queen of greengrocers. They are visually attractive, have a regular shape and are the most versatile on the market. They are “all-terrain” potatoes, whether fried, because they absorb little oil; cooked, as they do not break, or roasted.
This variety includes potatoes with a protected geographical indication, such as the Galician and Catalan potato from Prades. They are especially suitable for cooking, roasting or using in stews.
It is a mid-late potato, which has an elongated shape and a fairly mild flavor. This variety is perfect for cooking and also to add it to salads.
The queen of fried foods. Dark, elongated, with compact flesh and few sugars. It is good for making the perfect fries, since it is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, but it is not very recommended for cooking.
Red Pontiac Potato
It is a curious variety, since they are red like scarlet on the outside and, however, white on the inside. They are perfect both for cooking and for stewing, thanks to their floury texture. It is the one that best withstands cooling.
Are you looking for potato recipe? Check Mashed sweet potato
How to preserve potatoes
Potatoes should be kept in a cool, dark place. You have to control the temperature, light and ventilation of the chosen place. The ideal temperature is between 7 and 11 degrees, which will help preserve the ideal starch, water and oxidation levels. By the way, we recommend that you keep them in a perforated bag or a wooden box with slits.
The potato is a starch, so it is recommended for better digestion, always combine it with a vegetable (vegetables, salad, fruit…) and some protein, be it meat, fish, egg or legume. If you do it this way, the effects of its consumption will be much more beneficial for your body.