You say Potato, I say Potahto...

Potatoes.

The apple of the earth,

the Quintessential king of fast food,

the backbone to the Irish,
they are the Seers of the vegetable world. and even have their own SA website (http://www.potatoes.co.za/), yet how come we know so little about these ugly little brown tubers?
Potatoes are highly nutricious. They are high in carbohydrate and protein, and contain a large amount of water and nutrients.

Some people are aware of the different varieties (well I hope so), and if we did our research we would realise why our boiled tatties come out like soup.

Potatoes are classified, no not by sweet potatoes and normal ones, but by texture. You get mealy, waxy and floury and you also get table, seed and new potatoes.

What’s the difference between Waxy and Floury Potatoes?
Waxy potatoes are translucent and feel moist and pasty. They are good at staying firm and keeping their shape so make great salad potatoes.

Floury potatoes are brighter and more granular in appearance with a drier feel. They're better for dishes where you want fluffy potatoes or for mash.

So you can breathe a great big sigh of relief, because if the potatoes have been cooking for over an hour, and they are still hard as a rock, you are not a failed cook, you are just using the wrong variety.

Table potatoes are planted specifically to be consumed, seed potatoes are used as seeds for planting and New potatoes are those gorgeous minature ones. They have a beautiful nutty taste due to their youth, as they are only 7 to 8 weeks old.

Their names read like a catwalk guestlist: Lady Rosetta, Devlin, Darius, Hermes, so let me get you better aquainted.

Astrid: Is oval shaped, with medium eyes with a slightly floury texture and white inside.
Aviva: Is round, with shallow eyes. her texture is medium firm and she has white insides.BP1: Is oval with rounded eyes, white inside and firm textured.Baroc: White fleshed with a firm texture.
Buffelspoort: (BP13): Creamy coloured flesh with a firm texture.
Calibra: Is flat and rounded. She has shallow eyes, a white skin and as medium firmness.
Caren: Long oval shaped with shallow eyes. Firm fleshed and white inside.
Charlie: White inside with a medium firmness.Darius: Long and oval shaped, shallow eyes with a white, firm inside.
Dawn: Rounded with deep eyes, white skin and with a medium firm texture.
Devlin: Long and oval shaped with shallow eyes. He has a white skin and firm textured flesh.
Fianna: Has white flesh and a firm texture.Hermes: Creamy coloured flesh and a firm texture.
Hoevelder: Pale cream in colour and medium firm texture.
Kimberly Choice: white flesh with a slightly floury texture.
Lady Rosetta: Creamy white flesh.
Mondial: Oval shaped, with a firm yellow flesh.
Mnandi: Oval shaped with shallow eyes. has a pale yellow flesh and a slightly floury texture.
Nicola: Dark cream colour with a firm flesh.
Pimpernel: Oval to rounded in shape. shallow eyed with a floury textured yellow flesh.
Ronn: Short and oval with yellow eyes. Has a creamy, floury texture.
Ropedi: Rounded with shallow eyes. White medium firm flesh.
Rotharo: Rounded to oval shaped. Has shallow eyes and a white skin with firm, white flesh.
Spunta: Long and oval shaped, sometimes kidney shaped. has firm, yellow flesh.
Vonderplank: Pearl like in shape, has shallow eyes and white, firm flesh.
Up-to-date: Round to oval in shape. Has protuding eyes and a white, floury textured flesh. The flesh can break easily.
These are just a few of the potatoes registered here in SA, more can be found at: http://www.potatoes.co.za/default.aspx?pid=41&stepId=1&oid=41
Simba chippies are made from potatoes known as Smith's comet, and Mc Cains favour Umatilla Russets.
Basic potato etiquette
You may never, under any circumstances, freeze potatoes. Even if the potato itself asks you to. You may not! Any temperature below 11 C cause the starch in the potato to convert to sugars and turn black. And then you are stuck with weird black looking potatoes and my voice in your head going, "I told you so..."
You can, however, freeze cooked potatoes, but they taste nasty, so don't do that either.
Do not eat green potatoes. these contain solanin, and are poisonous.

Do not eat the eyes (shoots) of potatoes. If your potatoes are growing eyes, then they are past their yummy date, and will start tasting dusty, its best to plant these in the garden and forget about them.

Spanish omelette or Frittatta
This is a pretty easy quick fix meal that is healthy and yummy. Plus it keeps really well in the fridge and can be munched hot or cold.
This is enough for 3 people for a meal, or a party of 6 or 7.
3 rashes of bacon.
half an onion,
half a large green pepper, cubed
1 tomato, chopped.
4 eggs beaten with 125ml milk, and seasoned.
2 medium potatoes, either cooked or raw.

Preheat the oven to 180°C

Slice the onion and fry in some olive oil with the bacon until cooked, but not too crispy.

Add the green pepper, and fry until cooked through (soft but still with a bit of crunch). remove from the pan, and add some more olive oil.

Slice the potatoes (I prefer with skin on) and if you are cooking from raw, place in the pan on a low heat, and cook for 10 minutes. if you fry them from cooked (ie still slightly hard, or completely cooked through) it will take a lot less time, and you can fry them until light brown on a high heat.
When the potatoes are almost cooked through (if you stab them with a knife, does it almost go straight through? If it is rock hard, it is still raw. Add the bacon, green pepper, onion and tomatoes. Add the beaten egg to cover the ingredients. Do not stir, but leave for 3 minutes to cook.

Place the pan in the oven. If the handle for the frying pan is plastic, wrap it with the foil (shiny side to the outside). Cook for 10 minutes, or until the top of the omelette is brown.

serve in slices like a pie on its own, or with salad, cold meats and fresh bread.

( You can add any veg you would like, spring onions, green beans, broccoli, spinach and herbs all taste great, and you can also add cheeses, and different meats. Remember with things like bacon, and cheeses, they can be quite salty eg Feta, so season accordingly.

1 comment:

  1. LOL @ "tasting dusty", but I must admit I have lower standards than you: I simply break off the shoots with the parer and continue as normal. But my most potato-intensive meal is potato dumplings (rohe Klöße) where I grate it all anyway, maybe that saves me.

    Ja, don't mess with solanine. If it doesn't kill you it'll send you to the can!

    /me can't wait for his current crop of taties to mature.

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