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Dec 20, 2006 03:25 PM

potatoes left in the fridge for months

In October, I bought a couple pounds of beautiful local fingerling potatoes and put them in my fridge and sort of forgot about them until now. Yes, I'm very absent-minded.

I have examined them for signs of mold or decay and have found none. The biggest difference is now they're significantly more pliable, less crisp and snappy. Are they runied? I figured the loss of crispness might not be big deal since I'm cooking them anyway.

Should I still attempt to roast them or throw them out and buy some fresher taters?

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  1. Yaqo, I'd pitch them. If these were bakers with tough skins, maybe, but fingerlings you really should use within a few weeks. Just MHO.

    1 Reply
    1. re: thegolferbitch

      I had the same instinct, but I'm not clear on precisely why I should have used them sooner. They certianly don't *look* bad. Has the flavor and texture likely degraded?

    2. Definitely pitch them. Why risk and your dinner guests could end up gravely sick if you eat them.

      1. Man, you guys are nuts! Potatoes can keep for many, many months in cool temperatures. Farmers in northern areas dig their potatoes in the fall and can sell them all winter. True, your fridge isn't ideal storage but that's just because it's too dry. The pliability is moisture loss, which is not desirable but certainly doesn't make them unsafe to eat.

        Unless there are other signs of rot (mold, discolored insides, etc) or they've turned green, eat them, by all means.

        3 Replies
        1. re: celeriac

          That's right, certain things are only harvested once a year (apples too) so in the summer you could be eating year old potatoes and not even know.

          1. re: celeriac

            Celeriac, I have to agree with you. Potatoes are very durable and as long as they are not showing green spots or black soft areas that are safe to use. I buy 100lbs of potatoes in the fall from the farmer, and store them in open crates a root cellar in my basement at 40-45 degrees, and they last until March with no significant changes. Prolonged exposure to light is more harmful than cool temps to a potato, but they were never dangerous to eat.

            The texture will have changed slightly, but I would scrub and cut them in 1/2 or 1/3rds and roast them with garlic, fennel, rosemary and olive oil.

            1. re: celeriac

              apparently those who think you should toss them have never grown their own potaotes.
              we have always grown potatoes, and we store them in the basement all winter, and whatever is left over in the spring, we replant for next years crop.
              being that they were in the fridge (aka cold) unless they sprouted and withered away completely, they would be good for anothe several months, go ahead and eat them.

            2. Yes, the potatoes are OK if you want to eat them. Andean farmers store potatoes for long periods in dark, cool areas.

              1. Not quite the same situation- but a few months ago, I bought the BEST butternut squash at a local farm store. It was so good, I went back the next day and bought about a dozen more. I have them in a cardboard box in my basement, and we have been enjoying them ever since!

                4 Replies
                1. re: macca

                  Butternut squash stays good for months. Not to worry.

                  1. re: Cheese Boy

                    Yup- my dad used to buy squash and potatoes and keep them in the basement.
                    The butternut squash was so good- I simply steamed it and served with S/P and butter. Absolutely bone dry with a great consistency. I just had to go back the next day and buy a supply. So glad I did.

                    1. re: Cheese Boy

                      That is true, but I found that the ones I stored for a long time (say 4-5 months) developed a pretty awful texture--spongey and stringy. Safe to eat certainly, but far from delicious. not sure it it's a storage condition issue or if that's just what they do.

                    2. re: macca

                      most root veggies stay good for a long time, my grandparents used to plant tons of carrots, and when they harvested they kept them in the basement in a huge tub and covered them with sand, they lasted for months that way.