What type of potato should I use for............

Have you ever wondered what type of potato is best for potato salad and which is best for french fries? Are french fries french?

Lets start with are french fries french?  The answer is no, but here is how they came to be called the french fry. 

 According to Belgian lore, poor villagers often ate small fish they caught in the river which they fried. During the winter the river would freeze, making fishing impossible so the villager had to find another food source.

The villagers turned to the potato and started slicing and frying it much in the same way they cooked the fish.

American soldiers stationed in Belgium were first introduced to French fries during World War 1.  The official language of the Belgian army was French so the soldiers nicknamed the fried potatoes "French fries."

What type of potato makes the best french fries, Russets.  This mealy potato is high in starch and low in moisture which makes them absolutely delicious for french fries. The russets do not stop there, the high starch content makes for a fluffy baked potato. Russets do not fair as well boiled though, they often fall apart and require a good amount of butter and/or milk and become moist.

As mentioned above these potatoes can fall apart which can make then less than perfect for soups and stew that call for whole pieces of potato but are excellent for thickening soup.

What potato is best for stews, potato salad or just plain boiled?  New potatoes and fingerlings.  The potatoes are a low starch or waxy potato.  These potatoes contain a lot of water which prevents them from absorbing too much water when cooked.  They have a slightly thinner skin so they are easy to eat unpeeled making them an excellent source of fibre. 

What potato is considered the all purpose potato?  Yukon Gold's are excellent baking potatoes, and are great mashed.  While these potatoes do well boiled or roasted, they also contain enough starch to be mashed. 

White potatoes such as Superior, Kennebec and Shepody potatoes are smooth with a buff skin and flesh.  These varieties are good for baking, boiling a roasting.

Red potatoes such as Norland,Chieftain and Redsen have a creamy flesh and are good for baking, boiling, mashing and salads.