Potatoes are vegetables that contain a lot of carbohydrates. It got its name from the Spanish word patata and they’re also sometimes called spuds. There are hundreds of varieties of potatoes grown all over the world and new ones being added to the list all the time but they’re not all commercially available.
The Inca Indians in Peru first cultivated potatoes around 8,000 to 5,000 B.C. before it made its way to Europe through the Spanish conquistadors around 1570.
In 2004, potatoes became the first vegetables grown in space when NASA created the chamber-grown spud known as Quantum Tubers™.
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Potatoes Nutrition Facts Chart
Now let’s jump into your potato options.
Potato growth stages chart
What is a Potato?
A potato is a root vegetable and a starchy tuber (aka tuberous) of the Solanum Tuberosum plant. The plant belongs to the nightshade family. There are over 200 varieties of potatoes available in the United States. They can be put into many different categories.
Potatoes are considered comfort food, something to turn to when you had a bad day. Potatoes contain different amounts of starch, making particular potatoes better for specific foods. You probably were not aware there are so many potato types.
Potatoes can be classified into different categories based on their texture.
Some people refer to these potatoes as mealy, as they are high in starch. Idaho potato, Russet potato, and sweet potatoes fall into the starchy categories. They do not have a high amount of moisture. They are absorbent and fluffy. The flesh of the potato separates once it cooks and it flakes. They do not hold their shape once they are cooked. These potatoes are best for frying, mashing, baking, or boiling.
These potatoes are high in moisture and sugar, but they are low in starch. Waxy potatoes hold their shape even once they have been cooked. Their skin is thin, and their texture is smooth. The waxy potatoes are rounder and smaller than other potatoes. Red Bliss and French Fingerling potatoes fall into this category. These potatoes are best for potato salad, gratins, roasting, and boiling.
All-purpose potatoes are a balanced combination of waxy and starchy potatoes. They are the best of both worlds. They have less starch and hold their shape well. At the same time, they are fluffy and absorbent. The Yukon Gold potato falls into this category. The all-purpose potato is great for any meal, especially if you are in a bind. They are great for mashed potatoes.
All Blue Potatoes
True to their name, All Blue potatoes are blue inside and out, and they are a good all-purpose potato that is perfect when steamed, boiled, or baked. Because of its dry texture, it holds its shape well, regardless of how you cook it, and if you bake or steam it the color will remain the same as well.
Austrian Crescent Potatoes
Austrian Crescent potatoes are an heirloom variety and waxy in nature. Their skin is smooth and yellowish-tan in color, and its flesh is a light yellow color. These potatoes are delicious when steamed, boiled, and roasted, but they are particularly tasty when you use them in potato salads. The potatoes store very well and are commonly found in specialty markets.
French Fingerling Potatoes
With a pink skin and yellowish-colored flesh, the French fingerling potatoes have very smooth skin and sometimes a pinkish ring located right under the skin. Perfect for roasting, the French fingerling potato grows small and narrow, and they prefer dry, cool weather if you plan on growing them. Their skin color can also be orange or purple, and they are known mostly for their roasting capabilities.
Hannah Sweet Potatoes
Hannah sweet potatoes are a lot like the Jewel potatoes. They are starchy in nature and have light-colored skin and flesh. Available all year long, Hannah sweet potatoes have semi-smooth skin and a rather oblong shape. To prevent them from going bad, you should always keep the skin on this potato until you are ready to cook them, and they can last for several weeks when kept in a cool, dry place.
Japanese Sweet Potatoes
A starchy vegetable, the Japanese sweet potato is pink to purple in color but has a whitish-yellow flesh inside. Good for baking, grilling, or steaming, this sweet potato has a sweet and nutty flavor. Similar to American sweet potatoes, the Japanese variety tastes even sweeter, and it is even used in places such as Asia as a substitute for flour and a thickening agent when cooking.
The Jewel yam is a sweet potato, not a true yam, and it is a starchy vegetable. In fact, the Jewel yam is the most common type of sweet potato on the market today, and it is especially tasty when roasted or baked. Ironically, although the potato does have a high amount of sugar in it, it has a low glycemic index, which means you can eat one even if you are diabetic.
Kennebec potatoes are good all-purpose potatoes and quite large in size. They have tan skin and white flesh, and they hold together particularly well when boiled in water. It grows fast and is considered a high-quality potato, and it does greatly baked, fried, mashed, and even when made into potato pancakes. They are a nice uniform shape and size produced without the holes that are sometimes found in other types of potatoes.
These small potatoes, shaped like fingerlings with a very silky texture, are waxy in nature and have a nice nutty flavor. They were discovered in the Swiss Alps, and they are tastiest when they are boiled whole or roasted.
Norland Red Potatoes
A good all-purpose potato, this one has red skin and creamy-white flesh that is moist and holds up well whenever you cook it. They are tasty when placed in potato salads and in soups, but you can also mash, bake, or roast them. Because they are good at so many different recipes, they are a good potato to keep around your home.
Purple Majesty Potatoes
Purple Majesty potatoes are oblong and have a dark-purple skin and flesh that is firm, moist, and purple. Even when you cook them, these potatoes keep their color, so they are an eye-catching, as well as a tasty type of potato. High in antioxidants, the Purple Majesty potato is great in soups, mixed into potato salads, and when baked or roasted.
Red Gold Potatoes
The Red Gold potatoes are good all-purpose potatoes that have red and tan skins with a golden-colored flesh. Smooth in texture, these potatoes are moist and have a nutty, sweet flavor. They are perfect for roasting, boiling, mashing, and baking, and their unique flavor is unlike any other potato you will ever eat. In fact, they are good regardless of how you prepare them, so it is good to have them around at all times.
Red Thumb Potatoes
Red Thumb potatoes are waxy and have bright-red skin and pink flesh. They are fingerling potatoes that chefs love, and they are best when roasted or boiled. If you’re looking for something that goes great with steak and salad, the Red Thumb potatoes are a great choice, and they are a very attractive potato as well.
Rose Finn Apple Potatoes
Instead of a starchy potato, this one is waxy, and it has pink skin that is knobby and flesh that is a butter-yellow color. You can use these potatoes in salads, as well as for boiling, sautéing, frying, and grilling. It has an exquisite, earthy flavor that you are certain to enjoy, and it is an heirloom fingerling type of potato that matures in mid- to late-season.
Russet potatoes are what most people think of when they think of potatoes. They are a starchy potato that can be fried, baked, or mashed. They are a brown tuber variety, and they come from a word that means “rough.” The russet potatoes have a consistent flavor and a long shelf life, and they are usually Burbank potatoes. Russet potatoes are especially popular in the United States and Canada.
Russian Banana Potatoes
Russian Banana potatoes are a waxy type of potato that is great grilled, fried, or sautéed. They are also very tasty roasted whole or steamed when you wish to make potato salad. Russian Banana potatoes have skin that is pale yellow and flesh that is a deep-yellow color. It also has a very firm texture and is a very popular type of potato among chefs and markets that specialize in gourmet foods.
Yukon Gold Potatoes
Yukon Gold potatoes are a great all-purpose potato with rough brown skin and a gold-colored inside. They are tasty, regardless of how you prepare them, including fried, boiled, and mashed, and they are even great in potato salads.
The Bintje potato was first created in 1905 in the Netherlands. They are part of the heirloom family. They are medium-sized potatoes that are round or oblong-shaped. Their skin and flesh are both yellow. They have a flavor that is sweet and a texture that is creamy and waxy. It is perfect baked, boiled, mashed, fried, and roasted.
The Laura potato has a skin that is a deep red color, and the flesh is yellow. These potatoes taste as good as they look. The Laura potato is long and oval-shaped. The potato is perfect for mashed potatoes, French Fries, and potato chips.
The Vitelotte is a purple potato that is sized small to medium. They are slim and long, much like a fingerling potato. They have lumps that are irregular. The skin is smooth and ranges in color from deep violet-blue to dark purple. The skin is speckled with eyes that are deep-set, which is what makes it bumpy. The flesh is dense, firm, and smooth. The flesh may be marbled with white. The Vitelotte potato keeps the color even when cooked and has a taste of chestnuts.
King Edward Potato
The King Edward potato was first grown in 1902 in the UK. The King Edward potato is one of the oldest types of potatoes that are distributed commercially. King Edward has white skin with a slight pink hue. They are typically over and have a texture that is floury, qualifying them as a floury potato.
Kerr’s Pink Potato
The Kerr’s Pink potato is a round and short potato that has an odd and slightly flat shape. The skin of this potato is firm, light brown, and slightly rough. It has patches of pink blush with eyes that are reddish-pink in color and sprinkled around the skin. The flesh can be yellow to ivory color. They are starchy potatoes. When the Kerr’s Pink potato is cooked, it is fluffy and soft with an earthy taste.
Opperdoezer Ronde Potato
The Opperdoezer Ronde potato is not the most attractive-looking potato because it has an odd shape. It has white flesh or yellow flesh. It contains many vitamins. This potato has thin and delicate skin and must be harvested by hand to protect it. These potatoes are best fried or boiled. They have a creamy flesh and buttery texture after being cooked.
The Gunda potato has significant nutrients and water. They have an oval shape with yellow flesh. The texture is floury and has slightly moist skin. These potatoes yield a high amount of potato crop. They can be stored for a significant amount of time.
Duke of York Potato
The Duke of York potato is a red potato and part of the salad potato variety. It is an early potato that has red skin. These potatoes are large oval tubers with flesh that is yellow. The Duke of York is an all-purpose potato that is ideal for roasting. This potato prefers moist soil that drains well and full sunlight.
There are 16 varieties of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are known as Ipomoea batata. They are starchy tubers. The flesh has an orange color, while the skin is brownish. They are full of beta-carotene, which is why they have an orange flesh color.
They are lower on the glycemic index, meaning it takes your body longer to absorb the sugar it contains. They have a fair amount of fiber and help you to fight inflammation in your body. Sweet potatoes are a good substitute to help thicken foods like soup. You can replace pasta with sweet potatoes for a better food option. There are no limits to the ways you can prepare a sweet potato.
Red Bliss Potato
Red Bliss potatoes fall into the waxy category. They are small, round, and have thick red skin. Their flesh is waxy and white and becomes creamy when they are cooked. These potatoes are tender and have a subtle flavor. The round red potato works well in various preparations. They can be roasted and crispy, sliced for casseroles, boiled, and steamed.
Russian Banana Potato
The Russian Banana potato is a fingerling that falls in the heirloom family. This is the most famous of all the fingerling potatoes. The Russian Banana is a waxy potato, and its flesh is a yellow color. This is great for potato salad because they are a moist potato.
New potatoes cover a wide range of potatoes. They are any potato that is harvested at a young age, before they are fully mature and before the sugar contained in the potato has time to completely convert to starch. They have thin skin and are typically round and small. They often vary in color, depending on the type of potato they are. They are waxy and incredibly creamy. They are sweet and firm. These potatoes are great for roasting, steaming, or boiling. They are great in soaps. They are not the best for baking.
Shepody potatoes are an all-purpose potato that is high in starch. They have white flesh and thin skin that is smooth and white. Despite being a solid all-purpose potato, they are rarely considered for that purpose. These potatoes are most often used for French fries. They are the perfect potato for frying and create a great French fry. The Shepody potatoes have a great taste and are also ideal for boiling and baking.
Different Varieties of Potatoes
This is one of the most popular varieties of potatoes, and they can be found at nearly every fast-food restaurant, as well as other types of eateries. They also come in a frozen variety, and they can be crinkle-cut fries, steak fries, shoestring fries, waffle fries, curly-que fries, potato wedges, tater tots, and regular-shaped French fries.
Frozen potatoes do not just come in French fries, because you can find regular baked potatoes and stuffed potatoes in a frozen variety. In fact, when it comes to frozen potatoes, you can find just about any variety you might be interested in, saving you a lot of time in the kitchen. They also make frozen potatoes in the form of hash browns and other types of breakfast potatoes, so they are not just for lunch and dinner dishes.
Instant Mashed Potatoes
Instant mashed potatoes usually come in a box and are cooked with water and sometimes milk and butter. They can be microwaved or cooked on the stove, and the water rehydrates them so that they taste just like real potatoes. Instant mashed potatoes are tasty and convenient, and they are a great way of enjoying this delicious vegetable without spending too much time in the kitchen preparing it.