Grow Different Coloured Potatoes

Posted on: September 15th, 2011 by Annette Welsford No Comments
Many people think of potatoes as being dull-looking, brown-skinned vegetables that you can bake, boil or fry. But not only are there numerous ways to cook the common potato, there are also a multitude of different types of potato – more than 5,000 varieties in all. Perhaps even more surprisingly, potatoes come in a myriad of different colours, from white to blue and dark purple.
 
This shows that the common potato is no longer as "common" as it used to be! Unfortunately though, only a small number of varieties make their way to any of the world's supermarket shelves. While you're likely to find a bigger range at specialist veggie stores, or at farmers' markets, why not grow some of the more unusual type of potatoes at home?
 
 

Tasty Lady Rosetta potatoes contrast with the
more regular Maris Peer
variety

 
Here is just a tiny taste of some of the world's varieties:
 

White Potatoes

White potatoes are also called Irish potatoes, and they are probably the best known in the world. Confusingly, though, most so-called "white" potatoes have brown or a light beige coloured skin. Some recently developed varieties confuse the category further because their flesh is a creamy colour or even yellow!
 
Coliban, developed in the United Kingdom, has off-white skin and white flesh. Yukon Gold, developed in the US, is a popular potato with yellow flesh. Maris Peer is a popular British potato variety that is frequently used as a pre-pack, and picked when small for new or baby potatoes. The skin of this variety is a very light golden or creamy brown and the flesh is white or just off-white.
 

 

Russet Potatoes

Tubers in this colour category have brown skins, and the flesh is distinctively starchy. They have a good reputation for successful roasting.
 
Russet Burbank, also an established American variety (it's been available since 1908), has brown skin and white flesh.
 

Blue and Purple Potatoes

Not quite the norm, blue and purple potatoes are favoured not just for their unusual colour, but also because they contain a high percentage of antioxidants, an excellent health benefit. While they are classified by the colour of their skin, the flesh tends to be tinged with colour as well.

Royal Blue has an attractive deep-blue skin with flesh that is a creamy yellow colour. By contrast, All Blue, which has a similar colour skin, has unusual "blue" flesh. Odem is an Israeli variety with a bright purple skin and yellow flesh. Purple Peruvian, an heirloom variety that originated in the Andes is about as purple as you will ever get – and both the skin and flesh are coloured. It is considered to be a gourmet potato.
 

Red Potatoes

Like the blue and purple varieties, red ones also contain additional nutrients and are packed full of antioxidants. The flesh of red potatoes is sometimes white, although some varieties boast a golden-yellow or even reddish flesh. A tuber that is described as "red gold" will be red-skinned with a golden-hued flesh.
 
An Australian variety developed in the 1970s, Tasman is a reddish-pink tuber with white flesh. All Red, also known as Cranberry Red, has red skin and pink flesh. Roseval, from Europe, has bright pinkish-red skin and yellow flesh that has a pink tinge close to the skin. It is also a gourmet type. Lady Rosetta, a Dutch-bred variety, has red skin and yellow-hued flesh. It was recently nominated as one of Europe's tastiest potatoes.
 
There's so much to choose from, why not seek out some colourful varieties available in your part of the world, and be the envy of your friends?
 

 

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