WHAT IS AN IDAHO POTATO?
This tuber is not just an escapee from the Mid-West, it’s also a brilliant marketing campaign. Basically the Idaho potato is a trademarked russet potato that’s only grown in Idaho. While this state grows over 2 dozen other types of potatoes, none of them are named “Idaho” potatoes. Think of Idaho potatoes as the Parmesan Reggiano of the tuber world. The Russet Burbank variety in particular has a lower water content then other potatoes giving you a “meatier” or richer flavor.
WHY ARE IDAHO POTATOES GOOD FOR YOU?
So in local and federal courts, the State of Idaho has argued that its unusual climate (cold even in the summer) and volcanic soil create a unique potato. Seriously, Idaho has active volcanoes and potato plantations. Imagine a day in the life of a native Idahoan! Anyway, the fiber and protein in all types of potatoes will fill you up while having fewer calories. Most of the nutrients reside in the skin so peeling them just leaves a big ball of fiber and starch. However that specific type of starch is more resistant to digestion, and is actually healthier for you.
WHEN ARE IDAHO POTATOES IN SEASON?
The planting starts in May and the harvesting is done by October. Unlike carrots or lettuce, there is only one harvest per year for Idaho potatoes. Unless the local lava flows wipe out some poor, unsuspecting farmer. Then NO POTATOES FOR YOU!
HOW SHOULD IDAHO POTATOES BE STORED?
Potatoes are a bit like Wolverine from the X Men. In storage they can undergo a process called suberization in which cuts and bruises heal over. These tubers can be stored up to 6 months in cooler room temperatures (45ºF or 7ºC) that are dry and have good air circulation. Avoid a lot of light since exposure can cause the potatoes to green. Basements were once called root cellars since they’re ideal for this type of storage. Do not place your potatoes and onions near each other. The gases they emit will accelerate each others ripening process. Also do not store your raw Idaho potatoes in the refrigerator or freezer.
WHAT IS THE PROPER WAY TO JULIENNE A POTATO?
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IDAHO POTATO – COLD BLOODED KILLER OR WAS IT SELF-DEFENSE ?
The greening of an Idaho potato is caused by the presence of the chemical solanine. Greening occurs as the amount of chlorophyll increases (indicating the presence of this toxin). Ironically this agent is the potato’s way of defending itself from insects and other predators like restaurant kitchens and you. Most of this chemical is concentrated just below the surface of the skin and around the “eyes” so peeling helps. However cooking the potato has little to no effect on neutralizing this toxin. So if you’re worried, throw that potato out. If you see only 1 or 2 tiny green spots, just cut them out (but don’t be shy, too much removed is better then too little).