Certified Farmers' Market

Certified Farmers Market Fresh Pick of the Week for November 16, 2009

Potatoes are this week’s Fresh Pick of the Week, and there are at least six different varieties of potatoes available at the Certified Farmers’ Markets this week. Choose from white rose, pink rose, red, Yukon gold, Russet, blue, and fingerlings in a variety of colors! And although the colors vary greatly, all potatoes have a very similar flavor. They are not, however, all the same, when it comes to cooking. Russets, for example, are high in starch, so they are better either for baking, or for mashing (because they tend to crumble and fall apart when cooked). Conversely, most white and rose or red varieties are low in starch, and are therefore better for boiling and roasting, or in recipes (scalloped, au gratin, etc.) because they hold their shapes better when cooked. Yukon gold and blue or purple potatoes are medium starch potatoes and are often referred to as “all purpose” potatoes. Fingerlings (of all colors) are low starch potatoes.

Wild potato species are native to the Western Hemisphere, and grow from the United States (in the North) to Uruguay and Peru (in the South). Although Peru is the birthplace of the potato, over 99% of the almost 4,000 varieties of potatoes cultivated throughout the world today are descendants of a subspecies that is indigenous to south-central Chile.

Did you know:
Potatoes are the world’s fourth largest food crop, and are members of the same plant family that includes tomatoes, eggplant, tobacco, and deadly nightshade.

Price:
$1.50/pound and up, depending on the variety.

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