Have you ever tasted the delightful tenderness of freshly harvested homegrown new potatoes? Their delicate skin, sweet taste, and waxy texture make these little gems a gardener’s dream....
What Are The Best Waxy Potatoes?
In a recent poll, the humble potato was voted the UK’s most favourite vegetable and due to its versatility the result is not surprising. Boiled, chipped, roasted or mashed, the potato provides us with a host of culinary solutions for thousands of different meals together with a wide range of tasty, crunchy snacks such as potato crisps and potato puffs. The potato is also a firm favourite with allotment gardeners and enthusiastic veg patch gardeners alike but what type is best?
Do you know your potatoes? Can you tell the difference between waxy and floury potatoes? What is a starchy potato? Those classified as waxy potatoes are low in starch and high in moisture. They are generally white in colour, with firm flesh and are perfect for boiling, roasting, slicing and for using in soups and salads. Some of the most popular varieties include Nicola, Pink Fir Apple, Charlotte, Jazzy, Marfona and Arran Pilot, to name a few.
Best Waxy Seed Potatoes to try....
Pack of 2kg potato tubers
NOT AVAILABLE FOR 2024 - CROP FAILURE
Waxy potatoes will always be a firm favourite
Most potatoes are relatively easy to grow if you have the space and just about any kind of space will do. They can also be grown in pots and a whole range of containers as well as large open plots and veg patches. They come in all shapes and sizes too from small roundish new potatoes, known as earlies and second earlies, to large chunky brutes, better known as maincrop. It is thought there are around 4000 cultivated varieties and about 180 wild species of potatoes in the world, with many of them originating from the highlands of the Andes in South America.
In the UK, there are around 500 varieties of potatoes, of which around 90 are grown commercially. However, in the shops you will often be faced with a simple choice of just reds or whites and unless the packaging is clearly marked with the variety name then you’ll be taking pot luck with what variety you get. Different types of potato will cook in different ways, some being more suitable for mash and some being more suitable for roasting. Waxy potatoes are a firm favourite with those who prefer boiled potatoes.
Features of the waxy potato
Some growers, and cooks for that matter, will argue that waxy potatoes take too long to turn crispy and are therefore not the best for roasting, so the jury is out on that one. One thing is certain, the waxy type of potato will hold its shape whether it is boiled or roasted. However, because waxy potatoes hold their shape so well, they don’t really make good candidates for mashing or baking. Deep frying, as with chips, is also not a method that brings out the best of a waxy potato so probably best avoided.
Think of a new potato such as a Jersey Royal or a Cornish King and you have the perfect waxy potato. Small, thin skinned, round to oval in shape and great for boiling and adding to salads. They taste absolutely delicious too, proving that every potato has its place and the waxy varieties will always have their loyal following.
What's your favourite salad potato? Let us know how you get on with a comment below....
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