Types of potatoes and varieties: what are the main types of potatoes and which varieties are the most popular in cooking. Here is a detailed overview.
On a descriptive level, the potatoesthey can be classified into four macro-categories.
Types of potatoes
There are severaltypes of potatothat we find on the market. Note, for each type of potato there are a good number of cultivars. When we talk about "potato varieties" we refer to the "cultivar", ie the botanical variety selected for certain characteristics. Let's see the details.
Yellow flesh potatoes
They have compact pulp, the yellow color of the pulp is linked to a high presence of carotenes.
They are used a lot in the kitchen, especially at an industrial level for the production of french fries. Theyellow potatoesthey are ideal for baking or for preparing a good salad.
White potatoes or floury potatoes
Commonly calledfloury potatoesorwhite potatoes, these do not have the typical pigments of the yellow color. They pulp during cooking and for this reason they are more suitable for cooking a good gateau, for potato croquettes or gnocchi.
By this term we mean anytype of potatowhich is collected prematurely. New potatoes have a thin and smooth skin precisely because they are harvested before ripening. They are perfect to cook with all the peel.
Red-skinned potatoes have a yellow flesh. They have a very firm pulp and therefore more useful when cooking times of a dish are long. They can be fried or baked in foil.
American potato or sweet potato
Although we call them "potatoes", "American potatoes" do not have much to do with the classic potato used in cooking. In reality they should not even be counted among the types of potatoesdue to the botanical distance present.
Just for clarity, we point out that the American potato is known as "Ipomoea batatas" (genus Ipomoea) while thepotatoeswe talk about in this article are all of the speciesSolanum tuberosum.
Depending on the variety, theAmerican potatoesthey have a texture that varies from white to yellow, sometimes even orange or purple. Despite the name "American potato", this species has been imported to Italy since ancient times.
In our country, in fact, there is no lack of recognition as a "traditional agri-food product". Among these we point out theApulian sweet potato, from the Lecce countryside, known assweet potatoorsugar potato, patana or tartufulu.
Variety of potatoes
As stated, the term "variety" can be misunderstood. In this page we will use the term to indicate a "cultivar", that is, what in horticulture is considered an agricultural variety of a botanical species. Absolutely, the most common potato variety is the kennebec which is a type of floury potato or white potato.
Thispotato varietyis appreciated for herwhite body. It is native to the United States but also very widespread in Italy, indeed, in our territory, theKennebec potatoit is the most widespread.
Being thevarietymost common, probably when you are in the supermarket and buy potatoes, it is this cultivar: it has a round-oval shape, light yellow skin, smooth and awhite pulp.
Who seeks floury potatoescan take advantage of thekannabec potatoes: it's about amealy potatoappreciated for the preparation of gnocchi, stuffed for ravioli, potato flans and mashed potatoes.
Another very common variety, thepotato wantit is a type of potato with very light yellow flesh (pale yellow) and red skin. It is famous because it is onevariety of seed potato.
Velvet queen or purple potato
The purple potato seems to have intrigued many horticulturists. These varieties generally have a very floury pulp and a coloring capable of making anyrecipemore captivating! There are also non-floury purple potatoes.
When to grow potatoes
Recall that thepotatoesthey are sown in the open field from February (in the South) to April (in Northern Italy). Those who want to grow potatoes may find our guides useful:
- How to sprout potatoes
- How to store potatoes
- Grow potatoes