Potatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables available in Australia. There’s nothing bland about our humble potato, in fact we like to think of them as a blank slate; waiting to be paired with delicious herbs and flavours, tossed in olive oil, and either roasted, fried or baked to perfection.
Depending on how you prepare your potatoes, they can have completely different textures and flavours. Everyone has their personal favourites, but the versatility of being able to cook chips, roast potato, mashed potato, baked potato, frittata, or many other dishes means no kitchen is complete without a good stock of spuds.
Here at the Market, we have a number of great stallholders who sell potatoes. Currently you will find Luke’s Potatoes & Pumpkins and Ingelara, but we will also see the return of Deua River Farm Produce and Naturally Grown Potatoes – Naturally Better later in winter.
Not everyone knows that some varieties of potato are better for particular uses than others. So this month, we chatted with two of our most potato-savvy stallholders – Luke from Luke’s Potatoes & Pumpkins and Beatrice and Tobias from Ingelara – to find out which of their spuds are best for what purpose. Here is what we discovered:
Luke: The ‘queen of potatoes’, these creamy Dutch spuds are perfect for mashing or roasting. Luke says they can be steamed or boiled as well, and due to their creamy flavour, they are one of the few waxy varieties that work well in mash.
Ingelara: Sapphire potatoes are somewhat mealy, making them good for baking. Sapphires keep their colour best when baked, microwaved, or fried – when boiled, the flesh fades to a greyish blue. Some people think they have a subtle nutty flavour.
Luke: Kipfler are a very waxy spud with a nutty flavour. They are great steamed or boiled for salads and roast beautifully.
Ingelara: King Edwards have a pale skin with pink markings. The ‘king of mashed potatoes’, it is a fluffy, buttery variety that can also make a classic ‘crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside’ roast potato.
Luke: These potatoes are the great all-rounder. If you’re looking for versatility, Sebago potatoes are the taters you want. They make for the best handmade fried chips, are great for crunchy roast or baked spud, and tend to be softer when boiled or steamed.
Ingelara: Bintje is an old variety from Belgium that is a waxy potato with creamy texture. They are a great potato to have on hand for salads and frying chips.
Luke: These red-skinned potatoes have plenty of flavour and work well for all cooking types other than frying.
Ingelara: Salad Rose is a waxy potato with creamy, buttery yellow flesh. An all-rounder, they’re good for salad, roasted and baked, mashed, boiled, gratins and for soups and stew.
Ingelara: Pink Fire is an old French variety – a waxy, creamy potato with a knobbly shape, the skin colour can vary between brown and pink. They’re ideal for potato salad, boiled, roasted, and baked.