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Eating Potatoes Raw

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  • Jim Leff Jun 23, 2006 04:58 PM
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All my life I've heard of folks who eat potatoes raw, like apples. And while my love for the spudly is second to no one's, I'm starting to suspect it's a myth.

Is there anyone out there who actually does this? I mean: picks up a potato and eats it like an apple (peeling being permitted)?

ciao

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  1. s
    Seth Chadwick

    I have tried it and I simply can't get past the horrible pastiness of the starch. Blech.

    I have never seen anyone eat a potato like an apple.

    I think you are correct about it being a myth.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Seth Chadwick

      My kids do it. I can't bear the taste, but they learned it from their mother, and eat raw potatoes all the time.

      Turnips ... I like those better raw than cooked.

      1. re: Kirk

        Oh, turnips. Turnips rule. Raw or cooked, dressed or naked. Thank God my family likes them, so I have an excuse to keep them in the pantry weekly.

      2. re: Seth Chadwick

        i eat raw potatoes all the time. I love them, i do just literally pick one up, wash it then eat it.

        1. re: Seth Chadwick

          I agree with Set and the OP

          1. re: Seth Chadwick

            Oh so not true that this is a myth! while I don't eat potatoes like apples, I do enjoy a few slices raw with salt when I am preparing potatoes for supper. And Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh has a potato stand that sells both french fries and raw potatoes.

          2. I've seen my mother eat raw potato. Usually a slice or two while making some dish. But never like an apple.

            1. To quote an post below: "ewww!"

              Laurie

              1. have you ever tried the chinese potato dishes that are stir fried? (sometimes on "mao menus) they are still rather crisp and not really to my taste.

                3 Replies
                1. re: jen kalb
                  r
                  Robert Lauriston

                  Old Mandarin Islamic in San Francisco (where I assume Jim Leff still is) makes stir-fried potatoes that are almost raw. More like a salad than a starch. Startling but good.

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    I don't like potatoes "rare" either. Raw or cooked, is ok.

                    1. re: jen kalb

                      Jen, I know the dish you are talking about. It is McDonalds-fry-size potato strips quickly stir-fried with scallions, garlic, vinegar, and lots of black pepper, and I find it delicious. The potatoes are a little hard, but it is a long way from raw, which is disgusting.

                    2. Used to eat raw potato when I was a kid. Peeled & sliced with salt & pepper. It's been decades ago, so I don't know how it would strike me now.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Chimayo Joe

                        Had them like that once when some friends of my folks took care of us over a weekend. There was an Elvis movie marathon going on and, since it was so odd and I've never eaten them raw again, I somehow always link raw potatoes with Elvis. Funny how the mind works.

                      2. I do it! I love the crunch and the flavor and don't find the starchiness too strong.

                        1. r
                          Robert Lauriston

                          Really fresh new potatoes are okay raw, but better cooked.

                          1. I haven't done this in years, but I used to love a slice of raw potato with sugar sprinked on it.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Pat Hammond

                              I do the same, but with salt. When I was little, my mom would always give me a little piece of salted raw potato when she was cutting them up for dinner.

                              1. re: boy_asunder

                                Same here. I learned it from my dad. My mom still gives him a piece of potato when she's cooking them. He sprinkles on the salt and chows down.

                                1. re: cycloneillini

                                  This is how my mom introduced me to raw potatoes, sliced and sprinkled with salt.

                                  I love a potato anyway I can get it...I don't judge.

                            2. I don't cut them like apples but if I'm peeling them for mashed potatoes, I always eat some of the pieces raw.

                              1. I used to like them raw as a kid, but then as a teen I developed allergies to certain raw fruits and most especially root vegetables. Now I have to peel potatos under running water so I don't have an asthma attack. So I haven't eaten them raw in decades.

                                1. It's not a myth.

                                  In China raw potato in julienne cut is a common dish: usually mixed with some vinegar and sesame oil.

                                  It's crispy, not starchy. Served chilled it's refreshing in the summer.

                                  In the US, most Sichuan restaurants offer this dish, though maybe not as good as in China.

                                  While we're comparing it to eating apples..imagine if someone gives you as your first apple ever: a supermarket waxy, milly red delicious..you probably wouldn't ask for an apple anytime soon.

                                  Most supermarket potatos wouldn't be fresh enough to eat raw.

                                  And pardon me as I ramble, but I'm just reminded of how full of flavor and crunch a fresh water chestnut tasted when i was in Hong Kong...wow! I would never had been able to gather that from the canned ones we usually get in Chinese foods!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: HLing

                                    You make a compelling point with the apples thing. Next time I have some farmer's market fresh potatoes I'll be sure to try them raw to see if I like them any better than the gross raw supermarket ones.

                                    1. re: HLing

                                      My first taste of a fresh water chestnut was one of my biggest revelations ever.

                                    2. Ok, weird, BUT...If I handle raw potatoes, peeled, the palms of my hands itch uncontrollably for some time. So the thought of ingesting said raw spuds is less than appealing.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: ClaireLiz

                                        If you have a topical reaction to "raw spuds", eating them could be downright dangerous! JMF mentions he's allergic to some fruit and root vegetables, potatoes included.

                                        1. re: ClaireLiz

                                          im late on this one but I'd imagine your hands itching is caused by the alkalinity of potatoes ever heard of lye? also known as potash and other names... compare the effect to skin(keep in mind the much lesser alkalinity of a potato compared to lye). and now u know....

                                          1. re: ClaireLiz

                                            The same thing happens to me - usually only if I'm peeling lots of potatoes (more than 3 or 4). I asked my allergist about it one time. He said the reaction is a somewhat common allergy to one or more of the uncooked proteins in the potato. I've never had any issues eating cooked potatoes (and I eat them quite a bit!) but the thought of eating one raw knowing what they can do to my hands makes me a little squeemish.

                                            Cooking denatures proteins, changing their structure, so it makes sense that one could be allergic to the uncooked protein but not the cooked protein.

                                            1. re: ClaireLiz

                                              I had that same problem for years and dreaded doing anything with raw potatoes. Thankfully, they don't seem to bother me anymore. That itching was miserable!

                                            2. The fresh new potatoes we get in our CSA box are so unlike regular potatoes they're almost like a different vegetable. Less starchy, texture's more like a juicy young radish or turnip.

                                              1. Yes, I do that! If they're cured (hard brown skin, the kind usually sold in America) I usually peel them, but for non-cured (soft, tan skin) I leave the skin on. And I'll just wash it and eat a whole one myself, checking carefully for green spots, which you must remove along with the surrounding areas if found, or better yet, just cook that particular potato, as those parts contain the highest concentration of glycoalkaloids, which can be broken down by cooking but are poisonous in raw potatoes. So it's a culinary delight I partake in cautiously.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: blackbyrus

                                                  cured potatoes? never heard of that. i am an avid fan of all things cured, fermented, and/or pickled though so please let us know what you are referring to.

                                                  1. re: ben61820

                                                    "Cured" in this case means the skin is thickened and tanned: it's the difference between a new potato and one that can be stored.

                                                    Can't abide raw potato, myself--in fact the co-op has a blackboard where someone writes a food-related thought of the day and recently there was a quote from James Beard to the effect that there's no vegetable that's not better for being slightly undercooked. I raised my hand and said "Potatoes!"

                                                  2. re: blackbyrus

                                                    Wikipedia on "potato" says:

                                                    "Potatoes contain glycoalkaloids, toxic compounds, of which the most prevalent are solanine and chaconine. Cooking at high temperatures (over 170 °C or 340 °F) partly destroys these. "

                                                    So I guess normal 100 C boiling does not suffice anyway? Steam pan required?

                                                  3. There is a restaurant here, or used to be, that makes a raw potato "salad". They shred the potato on this contraption that is sort of a cross between a mandolin and an apple corer. The shredded potato is dressed with an oil and vinegar dressing. I was skeptical, but it was really pretty good.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                      Are you talking about Angelo Pietro on Kapiolani? I tried it on my Honolulu trip last fall (had a free coupon) and liked it. I was also skeptical, because I remember that awfully starchy mouth feel from trying raw potato as a kid. This was more like daikon.

                                                       
                                                    2. I don't, but I knew a guy in college who always kept one in his car - swore that if he got pulled over taking a couple bites would fool the breathalizer. Can't remember his explanation of why he thought that was a good idea - I don't think it made a lot of sense to me even then. ;-)

                                                      1. Nope that's what jicama is for. It seems like a potato made for eating raw.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: thinks too much

                                                          I sometimes eat raw potatoes with a little salt! Peeled and eyes, green peel etc. I used to do this when I was a kid. Read on a natural website that they were good for "heart burn" Hey, it works! Within 5 minutes of eating about a half a small peeled raw Idaho potato, heart burn is history!! Beats taking pills that are not good for you.

                                                        2. I ate them as a kid - not whole potatoes, but a slice here and there while my mother was preparing them for cooking. Haven't done it since, but I remember liking both the ccrunch and flavor.

                                                          Also raw hamburger, which has given me a taste for steak tartare.

                                                          In both cases my mom didn't want me eating too much of them but thought a little bit was OK.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: BobB

                                                            My SO likes to sneak a couple slices of raw potatoes and sprinkle them with salt. He loves it - I don't.

                                                            When my dad would come home with fresh hamburger from the butchers, he would mix up a bit of raw meat, some onion and salt, and we would have it on saltines! Yum!

                                                          2. Years ago, I had a new potato salad at Au Jour d'hui in Boston. It was fairly expensive (about 15 years ago and it was about $20). It was...okay. Nice presentation, but potatoes are too starchy for me to eat raw.

                                                            For anyone who read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, the girl talks about how paying for a raw apple was a waste of money because raw potatoes tasted the same and they were much cheaper.

                                                            1. It's not unheard of. My mom swears she ate them raw, like apples, the whole time she was pregnant with me. Does this explain my quirky palate?!

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: equilibrist

                                                                Ha Ha. Talk about bringing back memories! I craved raw potatoes while I was pregnant with my older son. Mother had introduced me to the joys of biting into a lightly-salted slice of raw potato when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I'm 61 now and the only reason I don't still enjoy them raw is because I have no teeth and the dog ate my dentures! Otherwise, I'd still be "indulging" on a regular basis.

                                                              2. yes, i eat them a few pieces here and there when preparing them for cooking - not a whole raw one like an apple though.

                                                                i also like to eat raw green beans (picked right from the plant).

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: hitachino

                                                                  Raw green beans are the best! It's the reason why I didn't mind harvesting them for my gran :)

                                                                2. When my mother would cut up potatoes for fries, we kids would sometimes eat a piece or two raw; so would the cat, which I found really strange.

                                                                  1. aww I am sure alot of us have the very fond memory of our mommies lettin us nibble on a piece of raw potato... this thread brought back good memories thanks guys! :)

                                                                    -shawn

                                                                    1. I can't but for some reason, my dog loves them. As soon as the peel is off and she hears the knife slice, she is under my feet just waiting for a crunchy treat!

                                                                      1. Some potatoes (e.g. baking) are just way too starchy to be eaten raw, but I'll eat a few raw pieces of not so starchy potato sometimes if I'm cutting some up for a dish. I hated the taste the first couple times I tried it, but it grew on me quickly.

                                                                        1. Everytime I peel them to cook I eat at least 1/2 of one! I love them.

                                                                          1. Yes, I like raw potatoes, But I like to dip it a little in salt which makes it more paletable. My mother used to give me slices of potato when she would be peeling them for making mashed potatoes in the 60's. I rarely eat the peels raw, but peeled thick they make great french fries.

                                                                            1. Quoting Helen Nearing (wife of Scott Nearing) in the whole Earth Review, Winter 1994: "I served raw potato sandwiches to members of my garden club. I sliced the potatoes very thin and they thought it was very delicious until they knew they were eating raw potato."

                                                                              1. A favorite childhood treat was a freshly scrubbed from-the-garden sweet red potato, a fresh-from-the-garden sweet red onion, and a salt shaker.. my cousins and I ate this like apples. I make a crunchy salad like this.. lightly steamed and still crunchy jullienned strips of new-potato, tossed with lightly sugar & salt macerated red onion, mashed garlic, some green olives, sweet orange chunks, black pepper, torn parsley, olive oil, and a mixture of balsamic and wine vinegar. This works nicely with a piece of fatty pork or beef.

                                                                                1. U sued to do it all the time. When my mom would cut up potatoes for fries, she would soak them in salt and water. My siblings and I would regularly munch on these salty raw potatoe sticks...

                                                                                  1. I love raw potato, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one!

                                                                                    I don't eat the whole like apples, but everytime I cook with potatoes I eat quite a few pieces before they go intot the pot.

                                                                                    1. I like raw potatoes but raw SWEET potatoes (yams) are my favorite. I eat them all the time...just peel and eat like an apple.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: kmills9408

                                                                                        How much raw sweet potato do you eat?

                                                                                        you may want to google (exactly as it's typed on the next line)
                                                                                        "sweet potato" "trypsin inhibitor"

                                                                                      2. I use raw potato in my juicer, but I am not sure the nutritional benefit of adding potato juice. I just throw it in there along with whatever other vegetables I have on hand. I figure it wont hurt, and the ginger I add to my juice mix is so powerful I would not be able to say what fresh potato juice tastes like!

                                                                                        1. I wonder if it makes a difference what kind of potato you're eating raw. Any takers?

                                                                                          I've never been tempted, myself, but if there really are varietals out there that taste like jicama, I could be persuaded to try!

                                                                                          1. Yes my husband loves raw potatoes. I usually have to peel and extra 1 or 2 for him to munch on.they have to be peeled tho.

                                                                                            1. It's no myth, I love raw potatoes, and prefer them to roast potatoes. All they need to do is be peeled and washed :) Although I've heard that they aren't good for your health; but I seem perfectly fine.

                                                                                              1. I eat them raw and have my entire life. My grandmother and I would snack on raw potatoes together from as far back as I can remember.

                                                                                                1. I haven't eaten a raw potato since I was a kid, but I assure you, it's not a myth. My family and I loved to sprinkle the raw slices or wedges with salt and snack on them. Yum!

                                                                                                  1. Not necessarily for love of the taste of raw potatoes...but my Grandmother swore by it as a cure for heartburn

                                                                                                    1. I used to eat them when I was a kid, with salt on them.

                                                                                                      1. I can't even peel potatoes without plastic gloves on. My hands swell and turn red. Even the essence of the juice as I peel them makes me wheezy. BUT I can eat them cooked with no problem. Anyone else like this?

                                                                                                        1. I believe most of you bloggers here MUST be from areas where there are no family gardens. During Potato pick up every year the pin knives are passed along with the salt shaker!! And no decent pan of potatoes are peeled for any dish that hands aren't slapped cause of the sneaking into the tatoes raw!! We eat turnips raw also. Most people I know peel the potato, But just to really "Freak" you out-check this out- I have iron deficient anemia so severe I have to have IV Therapy at least once a year. I can tell when My iron levels are falling and how fast according to the amount of raw potatoes I crave, When I'm really bad I rather have a raw potato than any other food in the world! I can go through 20-30 lbs. of raw potatoes a week. I keep them in fridge in sealable bowl under water. I hate when they have been in cold storage!! But I crave the "musty, musky " flavor with lots of salt!! Also I crave to smell like a root cellar. I am attended by Johns Hopkins Hospital and other specialist who find this a definitie funny yet legitimate craving each stating the same thing I lack "pica" in my nutrients-which is no more than "DIRT"!!! They think it's funny I can measure my own degress in iron by the craving strength, Once I get Iv's the craving stops for about 7-8 months!

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: wvfeets

                                                                                                            That is really amazing! Thanks for posting! Too bad we can't all self-diagnose in similar fashion. I love raw potatoes and have been eating them since I was a kid. I actually just ate one and that's why it occurred to me to look up eating raw potatoes on the Net and that is how I found this blog. Pretty cool to read about how so many people experience such similar things growing up. I did not know about the potential for toxicity in the green parts or sprouted potatoes though, and good to know.

                                                                                                          2. My ex-boyfriend used to eat potatoes like that regularly... peel and all. He did that with raw onion too :-S

                                                                                                            1. I used to eat them raw all the time. They kind of have the texture of jicama. The flavor's somewhat the same. Not bad.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: beth1

                                                                                                                I must admit it's one of my many guilty pleasures...
                                                                                                                My nerdy but groovy cool "Dad " loved Jicama for some reason and used to bring it home to my Brother and I and treat it like a special fruit from some far away land.
                                                                                                                It tasted good so we had no problem enjoying the Jicama.
                                                                                                                When we asked him what it was our Dad said it was a sugary potato "more or less."
                                                                                                                I have been peeling and munching raw potatoes ever since.
                                                                                                                I also do the same with Jicama whenever I can find it.

                                                                                                              2. yummy , i love raw potatoes as well as tomatoes put some salt on it its great,i cant get my kids to eat it but i have been eatting it like that since i was a kid it is not a myth its true because i do it and love tham lol

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: tami5774

                                                                                                                  Me too, eat them a few times a week. just add alittle salt

                                                                                                                2. I have been eating them raw my whole life. Originally (as a kid), I would cut them up and eat it with a fork, usually peeled, but now I just rinse them off and chomp away like an apple.

                                                                                                                  There is one thing though. SALT is key if you're munching on a baking potato. Sweet potatoes and yukon potatoes are good plain, but are enhanced by salt. Have any of you tried a raw sweet potato? It's considerably better than a baking potato, which is overwhelmingly starchy sometimes.

                                                                                                                  It is probably a very good thing that most people don't enjoy eating raw potatoes because they are contain toxic levels of solanine until cooked.

                                                                                                                  1. I've grown up oneating raw potatoes i dont eat them on a constant basis just every now and then maybe sprinkle a little sea salt on them, maybe dip it in some ranch or hummus, my kids like hot sauce and ranch. and yes i agree it has to be an aquired taste.

                                                                                                                    1. *I do it (eating one now). Just peel and go. I got it from my aunt/uncle who got it from Grandma who's father swore by it. Oh and Steve Austin, before he was stone cold, eat nothing but raw potatoes- gave him energy for his workout.

                                                                                                                      1. I do it. When my husband makes homemade fries he gets irritated because I'll eat all the raw strips before he gets them fried. I'd actually prefer a peeled potato over an apple...

                                                                                                                        1. Just took a bite just now. That a a couple of fresh snap peas. My Dad let me as a kid. and is part of the pleasure of cutting up fresh vegetables. I love the dstinctive crunch of a raw vegetable. I had a friend years ago that was repulsed by my doing so (eating a bite of a raw potato) because she said I'd get sick from it. Yet, all my life to then and since - I do it and never gotten sick. Never tried salt on them. I'll bet that's good.

                                                                                                                          1. I do eat them like an apple. All the time. My whole family does, with salt. All of the different varieties taste a little different. Little red ones are awesome... really they all are awesome in their own way. And I don't peel them, either. Fresh from the garden, just wipe the dirt off on your shirt and eat. :)

                                                                                                                            1. This post reminded me of a line in "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," where eating potatoes raw is about poverty - it's the low-rent alternative to eating an apple:

                                                                                                                              "Mama's rule was: don't buy candy or cake if you have a penny. Buy an apple. But what was an apple? Francie found that a raw potato tasted just as good and this she could have for free."

                                                                                                                              1. I like raw potatos, when ever my mother in law would prepare mashed pots I would walk by the stove (a few times) and pop a cube in my mouth
                                                                                                                                Well one day she got me, she prepares her mashed turnips the same way.
                                                                                                                                I now look closely at what I pop in my mouth.

                                                                                                                                1. I luv them in my smoothies. Blend them in with bananas, veggies, just about anything else you'd put in a smoothie, can be made sweet, or savory. I use the smaller potato varieties. The baby potatoes seem to be the best. A good blender like Vita-mix, or nutra-bullet blend them perfectly smooth. I can't tell there's a potato in it.

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: methec

                                                                                                                                    But if you can't tell there's potato, why add it? Not enough empty carbs in your life?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jim Leff

                                                                                                                                      sOme people eat to live..nutrients...and...sOme people live to eat...taste only.

                                                                                                                                      cOlored potatoes have loads of nutrients. The pUrple, the sWeet, even the red common potatoes have mUch more benificial nutrients then the WHITE potato.

                                                                                                                                      fuRTherMore The purple, blue and the sweet has been labeled Super Foods.

                                                                                                                                      Same with wHite vs colored, Rice's... grains..and even sUgars.

                                                                                                                                      Common rule of thought...If it white it aint Right!
                                                                                                                                      DR. Rod

                                                                                                                                  2. I have

                                                                                                                                    1. Yes- When I have heartburn I eat one half of a potato raw.
                                                                                                                                      It works better than tums.