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Fresh Winter Seasonal Item: Potatoes

Be in The Know About The Potato

Potatoes are one of the most versatile foods, making them a staple item in many households. Often referred to as spuds, these vegetables are the second most consumed food in the world. The average American eats around 140 pounds of potatoes each year. While that may seem like a large amount, the US Department of Agriculture stated that “a diet of whole milk and potatoes would supply almost all of the food elements necessary for the maintenance of the human body.”

They are a cool season vegetable and thrive in temperatures around 50°F with ample rainfall. Even though they are produced in all 50 states, they grow best in Idaho, Washington, and Wisconsin. Giant Eagle has a wide variety of potatoes to choose from in each store. Check them out here, and read below to learn helpful tips and tricks to get the best results out of your next potato purchase!

Potatoes can be placed into three categories: waxy, starchy, and all-purpose. Waxy potatoes, like new potatoes and French fingerlings, hold their shape when cooked. These are best used for potato salads and casseroles. Starchy potatoes are softer, making them an ideal type to mash, bake, and fry. These include russet and Idaho potatoes. Yukon gold and red potatoes are classified as an all-purpose potato because of their equal water and starch amount, making it usable for any type of recipe.

How to Buy Potatoes
While purchasing any type of potato, avoid choosing ones with soft or dark spots, cuts, or wrinkles. Look for a potato that is firm and has a smooth outside layer. Steer clear of green colored potatoes, as they have been exposed to too much sunlight and will taste bitter.

How to Store Potatoes
Potatoes last the longest when kept in a cool, dry area. If too warm, the vegetable will begin to sprout and spoil more quickly. If too cold, the starch will turn to sugar and make your potato less nutritional. Avoid placing potatoes in the refrigerator, next to running appliances, or in direct sunlight.

How to Prepare Potatoes
Before using each potato, wash thoroughly with cool water and a stiff brush. Be sure to remove any sprouts and dark, soft, or green spots. You want to be left with a smooth and clean potato for best cooking results. Each potato has a ideal way to be cooked. They are typically transformed into mashed potatoes, potato chips, and fries. Follow the three recipes below to see how you can use the red potato, honey gold potato, and sweet potato in your next meal!

Steak & Blue Cheese Potato Salad

View Recipe

New York Steak with Chimichurri

View Recipe

Curried Sweet Potato Soup

View Recipe

Ready to put what you learned into practice?

Shop curbside to add this versatile vegetable to your next meal!