How to cook Potatoes
You can boil, steam, roast, fry or bake potatoes. Floury potatoes have a fluffy texture and are perfect baked and served with different toppings, or roasted and eaten as part of a Sunday roast. Waxy varieties aren’t as fluffy, so they’re delicious boiled or steamed and added to a salad. You can also mash potatoes and eat them as a side or as a topping for pies.
DID YOU KNOW?
Potatoes are part of the Nightshade plant family, which includes tomatoes and chillies. We eat the tubers of the plant, which grow underground.
More than 1 billion people around the world eat potatoes, making it one of the planet’s most important food crops.
Potatoes were first domesticated in the Andes mountains in South America, possibly as long as 7,000 years ago. In that part of the world, you still find thousands of potato varieties in all shapes and sizes, including knobbly purple ones and gold- and red-striped varieties.
Potatoes were the first vegetable to be grown in space during a NASA mission in 1995.
Choose firm potatoes with no blemishes or squishy bits on the skin. Don’t worry if they’re still covered in soil – this helps to keep them fresher for longer. Store potatoes in a paper bag somewhere cool and dark.
In the kitchen, it’s helpful to know the texture of a variety. A waxy potato, such as ‘Charlotte’, is low in starchy dry matter, meaning that it doesn’t easily disintegrate and is therefore well suited to boiling or salad use. A floury potato like ‘Maris Piper’ is high in dry matter and perfect for roasting and frying.
What are the health benefits?
Potatoes are a source of potassium. Potassium helps keep our blood pressure healthy. It also helps to control the balance of fluids in the body, and keeps our heart muscle working properly.