Potatoes are the world’s fourth largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and corn. Because they can be stored through the winter, they are a great, nutrient rich source of local starch. Although they get a bad rap by low-carb dieters, potatoes are full of vitamin C, B6 and Potassium.

Harvested in spring or early summer, new potatoes are the youthful version of the more familiar adults. Their delicate thin skin requires farmers to gently dig each one from the earth by hand. At home, a simple scrub to remove any excess soil replaces peeling. Quick cooking is recommended for these tender tubers who lack the maturity to turn sugars into starch, making them a poor choice for baking or frying.

Store in a brown paper bag for no longer than a few days.

Below is a guide to some varieties commonly carried in the market:

White-fleshed Potatoes

White Rose – classic, silky
Katahdin – great flavor, good for mashing or baking
*Russet Norkotah – versatile, moist baker
*Red Lasota – a classic red
Kennebec – great for fries
*Dakota Rose – red skin, floury flavor

Yellow-fleshed Potatoes

Carola – a favorite, best masher, very versatile
Yukon Gold – great masher, a bit dry
Yellow Finn – great sautéed, moist and sweet
German Butterball – very versatile
Nicola – an heirloom with great flavor
Abby’s Gold – a smooth-skinned butterball

Purple – fleshed Potatoes

All Blue – very dry, great roasted
Purple Peruvian – blue all through, great fried
Purple Viking – great flavor, good masher

Red-fleshed Potatoes

Huckleberry – very creamy

Fingerling Potatoes

Russian Banana – rich flavor, great roasted
Rose Finn Apple – nutty, make a great potato salad
French – rich, distinctive flavor, great roasted
Princess Larate – a French favorite
Ozette – a popular heirloom, very creamy
Amandine – a new variety