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How Do I Choose the Best Yellow Potato?

Yukon Gold potatoes, known for their buttery taste, are the most common yellow potatoes.
Mashed potatoes made with yellow potatoes.
Yellow potatoes.
Twice baked yellow potatoes.
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  • Written By: Angie Pollock
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Images By: Elvert Barnes, Joe Gough, Andre, Jjava
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2014
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When preparing yellow potatoes, you should choose the best produce available. Two key factors are important for selection: appearance and variety. The appearance of a good yellow potato will be firm and lacking discoloration. There are many varieties of yellow potatoes from which to choose with the Yukon Gold the most popular variety. Some other potatoes that fall into the yellow potato family include the Yellow Finn, Russian Banana, and Baby Dutch Yellow potato.

Yellow potatoes are commonly referred to as all-purpose potatoes. As the name implies, an all-purpose is one that can be used for virtually any recipe. Along with their versatility, yellow potatoes also are known for their buttery flavor and creamy yellow flesh. The flesh color derives from anthoxanthins, a water-soluble pigment that ranges from white to creamy yellow.

Yukon Gold potatoes are the most widely available yellow potato, and the most commonly used in America. This highly-used tuber was created in Canada during the 1980s and continues to be exported around the world. Baby Dutch Yellow potatoes are European culinary treasures that are small in size. The Russian Banana variety is a fingerling style potato and the Yellow Finn resembles the Yukon Gold. Both the Russian Banana and Yukon Gold are considered gourmet varieties and harder to find outside their native origin.

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One of the benefits of yellow potatoes over other types like russets is the skin. Due to their smooth thin skin, peeling is generally not needed prior to cooking. For preparation, yellow potatoes typically only need to be washed thoroughly to remove any dirt. After cleaning, the potatoes can be cooked as needed. Since all-purpose potatoes have the qualities of both starchy and waxy potatoes, they can be used for mashed potatoes or in recipes needing more solid pieces such as potato salad.

When choosing yellow potatoes, look for firm and smooth potatoes that are void of wrinkles and blemishes. The skin should be somewhat smooth and have little to no sprouting, or “eyes.” The skin color varies depending on the variety, which can range from brown to light brown. Avoid yellow potatoes that have green skin coloration. Yellow potatoes should be stored in a cool dark place with adequate ventilation and used within three to six weeks, depending on their freshness at purchase.

Yellow potatoes are packed with essential nutrients and vitamins. A medium-size Yukon Gold potato averages 100 to 120 calories and contains as much as 50% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C and 6% RDA of iron as of 2011. Yukon Golds also offer approximately 770 milligrams of potassium, 3 grams of protein, and 2 grams of dietary fiber.

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