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.” 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?
The State of Idaho has literally gone to court (local and federal) over this issue. They’ve argued that Idaho’s unusual climate (cold even in the summer) and volcanic soil create a unique potato. Seriously, this state 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?
Planting starts in May and 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. This allows cuts and bruises to heal over. Tubers can be stored up to 6 months in cooler room temperatures (45ºF or 7ºC). Make sure the area is 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. Also don’t place your potatoes and onions near each other. The gases they emit will accelerate their ripening process. And don’t store your raw Idaho potatoes in the refrigerator or freezer.
WHAT IS THE PROPER WAY TO JULIENNE A POTATO?
It’s not that hard, click here to see!
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. The greener it becomes the more of this toxin is present. Ironically this agent is the potato’s way of defending itself from insects and other predators (like you)! Most of the chemical is concentrated just below the surface of the skin and around the “eyes.” So peeling helps but isn’t a guarantee of complete removal. Unfortunately 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).