How should I store potatoes? And how long can I keep them?

If you purchased potatoes in a plastic bag, the best thing to do is to remove them from the plastic bag and put them in a paper bag, cardboard box or basket. Store them in an area that is dark, and cool, but not cold; such as a pantry, cupboard, or basement. Never store potatoes in the refrigerator; their cold temperature will turn the starch in potatoes to sugar, giving them an off-flavor. Potatoes will keep for 4-6 weeks in a cool, dark area. Even if they begin to grow sprouts and start to look shriveled, they are still ok to eat. Cut the sprouts away and peel them for use in  in casseroles and soups.

What causes a Potato to turn green?

An overexposure to any light source, the most common being sunlight or fluorescent lights. This causes the chemical solanine to accumulate in the skin of the Potato, turning it a green hue. This can also create a bitter taste, so it is best to cut away affected portions. The best way to avoid green potatoes, and keep them fresh– Store them in a cool, dry, and dark location.

What are the best varieties for baking?

Russet, round white and red-skinned varieties all bake well.

What are the best varieties for soups and salads?

Round white, red-skinned, yellow-flesh, purple, and fingerling varieties work best in soups and salads.

I have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Are potatoes a good alternative for me?

Potatoes are a great choice for anyone who needs to eat a gluten-free diet. Potatoes are totally gluten-free and provide healthy, non-processed carbohydrates as opposed to other starchy food choices.

What is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams? I’ve always thought they were one and the same.

Sweet potatoes are a dicot (double embryonic seed leaf) plant from the morning glory family. There are many varieties of sweet potatoes with skin colors that can range from white to yellow, red, purple or brown. The flesh also ranges in color from white to yellow, orange or orange-red. Sweet potato varieties are classified as either “firm” or “soft.” When cooked, the firm varieties remain firm, while soft varieties become soft and moist.

Yams are a monocot (single embryonic seed leaf) plant closely related to lilies and grasses. Native to Africa and Asia, yams vary in size from the size of a small potato up the record size of 130 pounds. Yams are starchier and drier than sweet potatoes. So why the name confusion? In the early United States, firm varieties of sweet potatoes were produced before soft varieties. When soft varieties were first commercially grown, there was a need to differentiate between the two. African slaves had already been calling the “soft” sweet potatoes “yams” because they resembled the yams in Africa. So, “soft” sweet potatoes were referred to as “yams” to distinguish them from firm varieties. Soft sweet potatoes may be labeled yams when sold in most produce sections, but they are true sweet potatoes. True yams are not generally sold in most U.S. supermarkets but can be found in international markets such as urban wholesale produce markets.

Information provided Masser Potato Farms and Basin Gold.