Did you know that there are over five hundred varieties of potato grown worldwide?! That’s right, and there are fifteen varieties that we’re much more likely to find in the UK. This is our short guide to help you understand these varieties and how best to use each one.
The two most common factors which determine a potato’s best uses are waxiness and starchiness. Starchy refers to starch content, waxy refers to the texture. A starchy potato has a more floury texture and a waxy potato has a higher water content. Starchy potatoes will break up easily when cooked, and absorb flavours well. This makes them well suited to mash, potato cakes, hashes, and even curries, where you’d like them to soak up some of the sauce. They have a lovely fluffy texture inside when roasted. Waxy potatoes hold together much better when cooked so are suitable for salads and other dishes where you want to keep the potato whole. They can withstand a good boiling! There are also all-purpose varieties, which do exactly what they say on the tin. Or sack.
We are not saying that you can’t make some delicious mashed potatoes with an Elfe or boil a Vivaldi, but hopefully this has helped in the potato-choosing process and in your quest to create amazing roasties!