How to Pick a Potato
EatingWell.com offers some great tips about how to pick out potatoes and how to store them, which inspired us to share some of our own tips today.
Buying and Storing Potatoes
- Select the Best Potatoes: Look for clean, smooth, firm-textured potatoes with no cuts, bruises or discoloration.
Store properly to keep potatoes fresh:
- Store potatoes in a well ventilated place, optimally, at a temperature between 45ºF and 55ºF.
- Colder temperatures (as in a refrigerator) cause a potato’s starch to convert to sugar, resulting in a sweet taste and discoloration when cooked. If you do refrigerate, letting the potato warm gradually to room temperature before cooking can reduce the discoloration.
- Avoid areas that reach high temperatures (beneath the sink or beside large appliances) or receive too much sunlight (on the countertop).
- Perforated plastic bags and paper bags offer the best environment for extending shelf-life
- Keep potatoes out of the light.
- Don’t wash potatoes (or any produce for that matter) before storing. Dampness promotes early spoilage.
“Green” potatoes or sprouting potatoes
- Green on the skin of a potato is the build-up of a chemical called Solanine. It is a natural reaction to the potato being exposed to too much light. Solanine produces a bitter taste and if eaten in large quantity can cause illness.
- If there is slight greening, cut away the green portions of the potato skin before cooking and eating.
- Sprouts are a sign that the potato is trying to grow. Storing potatoes in a cool, dry, dark location that is well ventilated will reduce sprouting.
- Cut the sprouts away before cooking or eating the potato.