A question about potatoes
- greedygirl Jan 17, 2009 11:52 PM
So, it turns out that potato varieties are completely different in the UK than America. Not a single one in common as far as I can make out. Who knew?
Anyway, I'm plannig to make a Zuni recipe for dinner which calls for yellow-fleshed potatoes, "preferably Yellow Finnish, Bintje or German Butterballs". Does this mean I need a waxy, salad potato? I have Charlottes (waxy) and King Edwards (floury) in my pantry.....
And while I'm about it, what kind of potatoes are Yukon Gold?
Butterballs and Yukon Gold are waxy. (I guess Yellow Finnish and Bintje are, too, but I don't recall them exactly right now.)
And in the US we rarely classify potatoes by "waxy" and "floury" -- more commonly the classifications a "boiling" (waxy) and "baking" (floury), the difference being that a waxy/boiling potato will hold its shape when cooked in liquid (boiled for use in potato salad or in soups and stews) while baking/floury potatoes tend to breakdown and are often used for just that reason to thicken stews. Yellow-fleshed potatoes would be classified as waxy. Yukon gold is another (very popular) variety of yellow-fleshed potato developed in Canada.
I looked up some English potato varieties and the Charlottes should be fine for this recipe.
waxy and Mealy are the two terms that we use in cooking school. Waxy hold up well for salads, for boiling, etc and mealy break down easy, good for mashed, baked, or to use as a thickener.
Yukon gold is a waxy, yellow fleshed potato that seems to be the darling of the kitchen but leaves me rather cold...
Charlotte. It's what would be called a yellow all-purpose potato in the US, like Yukon Golds. (White all-purpose potatoes include the venerable Maine/Long Island potatoes, the Kennebec and Katahdin, et cet.)
The most common "waxy" potato in the US is Red Norland (often casually called Red Bliss, which was its predecessor in ubiquity, or Red Pontiac), and the Round White (aka California White). What we call Yellow Finns are a yellow waxy potato (waxier than Yukon Golds), but they are less common than they used to be.
Russets (there are several sub-varieties) are the American floury/starchy potato of choice.