What Are Floury Potatoes?

Wednesday, 11 May 2022  |  SimplySeed

You may at some time or another heard about potatoes that have a floury texture or a waxy texture but what does that mean exactly? These terms apply to the internal, fleshy part of the potato but it doesn’t become apparent which type is which, until they are actually cooked. The best way to determine what type a particular potato is, either floury or waxy, is to par boil it. A waxy potato will have a smooth, shiny surface and will hold together well, which makes it ideal when served cold and used in salads. A boiled waxy potato is also perfect for serving with butter or for mashing.

The perfect roasting potato

A floury potato therefore must be the best choice for roasting, baking and chips. However, a floury potato can also be a good contender for mashing, especially if you prefer fluffy mashed potatoes. It’s actually the “fluffiness” of the floury potato that makes it such a good choice for roasting because the loose fluffy outer areas, often noticed after par-boiling, will become crispy and brown when roasted. Some potatoes have the qualities of both floury and waxy varieties, making them good all-rounders.

What makes a floury potato?

Basically, the fluffy, dry texture is determined by the type of tuber. It will hold less water than a waxy potato and contain a higher level of starch. Floury potatoes are sometimes referred to as starchy potatoes. When boiled in their skins, the starch expands causing the potatoes to split open, leaving the skins to fall away. However, as a general rule floury potatoes are not a good choice when it comes to boiling potatoes as they are more prone to falling apart. On the upside, floury potatoes are quite low in sugar and therefore less calorific, which makes them popular with weightwatchers. 

Examples of some of the best floury potatoes

There are many different varieties of both floury potatoes and waxy potatoes but some of the most popular floury varieties include “King Edward”. This variety has been a favourite in the UK since the coronation of King Edward VII in1902, and is one of the oldest surviving cultivars in Europe. Another firm favourite is “Maris Piper”, which is the most widely grown potato throughout the UK since 1980. This variety was introduced to the UK in 1966 and quickly became established as one the best roasting potatoes available. It’s also one of the most versatile, being suitable for chips, mash and baking.

In recent years, several new varieties of floury potatoes have become available, and includes the variety, “Estima”, a floury potato which is quickly gaining in popularity. Introduced in 1973, this potato is a high-yielding second early variety. A good all-round (floury and waxy) potato is “Desiree”, which was bred in the Netherlands in 1962. This is a red potato, which is quickly gaining popularity with growers, especially as it is versatile and offers some resistance to potato wart, skin spot, blight and blackleg.

Some other very popular floury potatoes

  • Rosamunda
  • Evergood
  • Melody
  • Red Baron
  • Linzer
  • Porvita
  • Yukon Gold
  • Rooster
  • Mayan Gold


Most floury or fluffy type potatoes are also maincrop varieties with a few second early varieties included. Floury potatoes make for fluffy mash and crispy roasters. Waxy potatoes are best for boiling.


Which is your favourite potato variety to grow? Leave a comment below and let everyone know....


All blog content on this page is copyright of SimplySeed and is not to be reproduced without prior written permission. ©