4 Things to Know About New Potatoes
There are so many ways to prepare potatoes—as a side or main dish, they are a staple in many countries worldwide. The new potato is a seasonal offering that’s well worth adding to your potato game. Here’s a little more on the pint-sized member of the potato family…
What’s your favorite recipe for new potatoes? Tell us in the comments and upload a picture of your creations for all to enjoy!
1. Hello, My Name is New Potato
Potatoes that are planted in winter and harvested early in spring and summer, before the sugar content converts into starch, are known as new potatoes. As well as being smaller than regular potatoes, they also have a thinner peel, and are creamier and sweeter than potatoes available year-round.
2. When and How to Find the Perfect New Potato
Depending on the type and the year’s harvest, new potatoes are usually in season from roughly April to August. Though they can be purchased year-round as stored goods, ‘proper’ new potatoes should end up on the shelves as soon after the harvest as possible. Most of them have a firm, waxy texture and are delicately sweet in flavor. Although they are all referred to as “new,” they are actually just early harvests of many different types of potatoes.
Make sure to buy new potatoes in paper bags or loose, as this means they are fresh and have been sorted through. To maximize your potatoes’ kitchen life-span and prevent them from going moldy, avoid buying potatoes in plastic bags as they tend to sweat inside. However, even in mesh bags, potatoes are exposed to more light, which accelerates the ripening and molding process. Don’t be afraid to buy dirty potatoes: the residual soil contains micronutrients and actually helps keep the potatoes fresher for longer!
3. How to Store New Potatoes
As potatoes love the underground climate, it’s ideal to store them in a dark, dry, and cool place. The dark prevents germination and ventilation prevents mold (remember: no plastic bags or sealed containers). Stored at room temperature new potatoes won’t last longer than 3 – 4 weeks and in a warmer kitchen even less time!
Take note: Keep your hands off green potatoes. This indicates a high amount of a toxin called solanine. While small amounts are present in all potatoes, if a potato gets too much light along its way from harvest to kitchen, the amount of solanine increases – and shows up in green discoloring. If just the peel is green, but the potato inner is a normal cream to yellow, it can still be eaten. In the other case: get rid of it or risk a sore stomach and a bad case of nausea!
4. How to Prepare New Potatoes
Boiled, fried, baked, puréed or added to a dough–depending on the sort and their starch content there are many different ways to prepare new potatoes. Though they are most popular in salads because of their sweetness and a firmness that holds it shape–new potatoes are versatile as your regular potatoes. Day-old boiled potatoes can be used to make dumplings, latkes, casseroles, fried—oh and your potato salad. But might we suggest putting the peeler away? New potatoes have an especially thin peel which not only makes them perfect to cook and serve skin-on, but also helps keep nutrients locked inside!