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How Do I Choose the Best Irish Potato?

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  • Written By: Andrew Kirmayer
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 08 August 2014
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Potatoes are available in many varieties and are generally a healthy food to eat. They typically have a high content of Vitamin C and potassium, as well as a high carbohydrate content. An Irish potato is equally healthy and the choice of the different types can be daunting. Taste and texture sometimes help you decide on the best one, as well as which type is in season at the particular time of year. Some varieties can also be dryer than others, while one type of Irish potato may be suitable for certain methods of cooking over another.

Typically similar in nutritional content to pasta and rice, potatoes usually are lower in fat and contribute to energy in the human body. They can be boiled, roasted, steamed, or baked, and many cook very efficiently in microwave ovens. You can choose the best Irish potato based on the multiple varieties that are commonly found; one is the Rooster potato, which typically has a reddish covering and is yellow on the inside. It can also be cooked in many different ways.

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White or pink in skin color, Kerr’s Pink potatoes are traditional to Ireland. These varieties are often more sensitive to cooking, and often best retain their quality when steamed. Another type of Irish potato is the Golden Wonder, which has a floury taste and a rough skin. Roasting is usually not recommended but culinary experts often suggest boiling or steaming this type. Cultra varieties are usually white on the outside and can be cooked in a few different ways.

Karlena potatoes, often similar to Rooster and Kerr’s Pink, are generally white. If you prefer a looser skin, then Home Guard types can be suitable. These are usually available by mid-May and can be bought into the early summer. Queen potatoes are typically the ones of choice in the summer in Ireland. They are usually white with a floury texture; you can also cook these hardy types in a few different ways.

Most Irish potatoes are available at certain times of the year. Kerr’s Pink, Golden Wonder, and Karlena varieties are usually at their peak in September and October, while Rooster and Cultra are often best picked starting in August. The Home Guard Irish potato is typically harvested in May and June. Many of them are available year round, while a few are sparse except for just a few months out of the year. For choosing the best Irish potato, know which varieties are readily available and which tastes the best to you.

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