Potato facts: Apr 21, 2003 11:43:01 GMT -6
Post by chief_cook2 on Apr 21, 2003 11:43:01 GMT -6
When you store potatoes, place an apple in with them for company and they
Potatoes will keep for several weeks if stored in a cool, well ventilated,
Potatoes should not be stored near garlic or onions because both emit gases
that will speed up the deterioration of the other.
Cut out parts of sprouted potatoes that have become green from exposure to
light, as the green portion and the sprouts contain the toxic alkaloid called
solanine, which can cause cramps or fatigue.
Raw potatoes should never be refrigerated because the chill converts the
starch to sugar, which causes the flesh to become sweet.
If you ad hot milk to potatoes when you are mashing them, they won't become
heavy, lumpy or soggy. Cold milk tends to cause the starch in the potato to
form a solid.
Native to the Peruvian Andes, the potato is an American vegetable. It was
cultivated in Peru and Bolivia and was a staple food for the Incas. In the
early 16th century, the Spanish Conquistadors brought the potato to Europe.
However, it did not gain wide acceptance until 1573 when it was cultivated in
Spain. The Potato then crossed the Atlantic again to come back to North
America where the pioneers spread them across the country.
The potato is not a root vegetable although it grows underground.
Horticulturally speaking, only vegetables like carrots, beets, turnips,
kohlrabi, radishes, and rutabagas are root vegetables.
White potatoes are the swollen tips of underground stems and as such are
called tubers. Other vegetables like onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, and
water chestnuts are also members of this distinguished family.
Nutritional fact of the potato:
Once considered a "lowly" starch, the potato is now recognized as a
nutritious vegetable to be included in every balanced diet. With only 95
calories, a 5 ounce baked potato has as much vitamin C as 1/2 cup of tomato
juice and the same protein as half an egg. Compared to one cup of milk, it
has 7 times the iron, the same amount of thiamine, and 8 times the niacin.
Potatoes are also high in water-absorbing fiber which makes one feel more
satisfied and less hungry. Not only is this vegetable great tasting,
inexpensive and nutritious, it is cholesterol-free and 99% fat-free. The
tuber of the potato plant is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates,
the body best energy source. Unlike simple carbohydrates (those found in
sugar and refined products) that tend to give a quick lift, complex
carbohydrates deliver a slow, steady release of energy.
A potato for every purpose
"New" potatoes refers to those that are freshly harvested, so their sugar and
moisture content are at their highest. They cook more quickly and taste
sweeter than stored potatoes of the same variety. New potatoes, red potatoes,
and potatoes identified as "baking" or "all purpose" potatoes all have
different flavors and textures.
All purpose potatoes are a good choice for boiling as they have a more moist
consistency. Potatoes are also classified according to their starch content.
The high starch content of red or white Russet potatoes makes them
well-suited for baking or mashing and the best choice for frying . Small
round red potatoes are perfect for steaming or sauteing. The newly developed
White Rose (California long white) grown only in Arizona and California, is
becoming a popular all-purpose potato. The Katahdin is the predominant
all-purpose variety grown in Maine.
A wonderful variety that has long been popular in Europe and is now gaining
interest in the U.S. is the Yukon gold. Developed in Canada, it has a rich
buttery flavor and golden color. This medium starch potato can be used like
any all-purpose potato. Both the All Blue and Blue Carib have grayish blue
skins, dark blue flesh and a delicate flavor. Steam or bake them to retain