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How Do I Choose the Best Idaho Potato?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 06 September 2016
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Russet potatoes that are grown in Idaho are generally referred to as Idaho potatoes, and these are usually used to make baked, mashed, or fried potato dishes. When buying potatoes, you should look for potatoes that are heavy and firm. You should avoid potatoes with wrinkled skin, blemishes, soft spots, green spots, and a large amount of eyes or sprouts.

In the United States, the state of Idaho is generally considered the best area to grow potatoes, mostly due to its climate and terrain. Technically, any potato grown in the state of Idaho is considered an Idaho potato. Russet Burbank potatoes, however, are mostly grown in this state. These types of potatoes have a rough, brown skin with pale white flesh.

An Idaho potato has more starch than a waxy potato, which gives it a somewhat mealier texture. Before choosing Idaho potatoes, you should first decide what type of potato dish you want to make. Baked potatoes and mashed potatoes are two common dishes often made with Idaho potatoes. These types of potatoes also work well in deep-fried potato dishes, such as French fries and potato chips.

If possible, you should pick up each Idaho potato that you plan to use. These potatoes should feel heavy. The potato itself should feel firm, and it should not be soft or wrinkly.

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You should avoid any Idaho potato that has any blemishes, such as cuts, gouges, or dark brown spots. Any potato that has soft or mushy spots should be avoided as well. This is a sign that the potato is starting to go bad.

In general, you should not choose any potatoes that have not been stored properly. Green skin on an Idaho potato, for example, is one sign of improper potato storage. The green color is caused by the formation of chlorophyll and another compound known as solanine. While these substances are not extremely toxic, they can make you ill in large quantities, and they are also quite bitter tasting. It is usually recommended to remove all green skin and flesh from potatoes before eating them.

Lots of eyes or sprouts on an Idaho potato are also signs of improper storage. These are usually caused by warm temperatures and moisture. If your potatoes begin to grow eyes or sprouts, you should remove these blemishes by digging into the potato. Once a bag of potatoes begins to sprout, some culinary experts recommend removing any eyes and sprouts, cooking the potatoes, and freezing the potato dishes. This will prevent the entire bag of potatoes from going bad.

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