1. What is the difference between waxy and floury potatoes?
There you are, standing in front of the vegetable section wanting to buy potatoes. You see several different varieties — ones with graceful sounding names and purposes. The packaging does not always state exactly which potatoes are suitable for what, like gratin, chips or mash, instead it just says waxy or floury cooking. Not to worry, here is a little cheat:
- Waxy Potatoes (don’t disintegrate even after long cooking)
Varieties: Amandine, Annabelle, Celtiane, Charlotte, Cheyenne, Ditta, Erika, Gourmandine, Gwenne, Jazzy, Lady Christi, Venezia, Vitabella
Suitable for: potato salad, boiled potatoes, Gschwellti
- Floury Potatoes (jump up when cooking and have rather floury consistency).
Varieties: Agria, Bintje, Challenger, Désirée, Jelly, Lady Felicia, Laura, Victoria
Suitable for: gratin, soup, gnocchi, stock
- And for chips, hash browns and fried potatoes?
It is best to use a type of potato that can be heated to high temperatures and does not form acrylamide. These are typically floury varieties, such as Agria, Jelly and Victoria. (Source: kartoffel.ch)
2. How long can potatoes be stored?
Long — provided you do it right! Their ideal storage is in a spot where the temperature is neither too cold (like in the fridge) nor too warm. Between 4 and 10° would be ideal. It must also be dark and dry, so the potatoes don’t go mouldy or form solanine (see point 3). The potato also needs some air, so a closed plastic bag is only suitable to a limited extent. This is why potatoes are often sold in nets, boxes though baskets or knotted bags are also suitable.
3. Are raw potatoes poisonous?
Yes, raw potatoes should not be eaten. Potatoes are a nightshade plant that grows underground and contains a poisonous substance solanine. It is an organic compound that does not really affect us and is dissolved during cooking. Solanine is mainly found under the skin and in green and germinating areas. Special care should be taken with old potatoes, these should be peeled better and generally green and germinating spots should be cut out. Early potatoes can be eaten with the skin without hesitation.