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Types of Potatoes and Their Uses

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Potatoes are delicious and highly nutritious. In fact, they are so essential that they never lack in most UK homes, especially during holidays. Its broad spectrum of uses makes them irresistible. If you aren't using them for roasting, it's salad, mashing, baking, frying, and so on.  

Types Of Potatoes And Their Uses 

Potatoes are potatoes right? Not so, they can be very different and it's more than just the colour.

The interior composition of the potato makes different types of potatoes perform well in various uses than others. Taste, texture, and appearance are the attributes that give potatoes the uniqueness needed to perform best in multiple uses.  

It's common to buy potatoes from the supermarket only to start firing at the supermarket after an awful cooking experience. In reality, neither you nor the supermarket is right or wrong. It's only that some varieties are best for specific uses. To put this into perspective, variety X might the best for frying yet be the poorest for roasting.  

types of potatoes

To get the most out of different varieties, you should match them with their right uses. Since there are more than 500 potato varieties in the UK, this article covers the most popular potatoes and their uses.


Classification Of Potatoes 

When classifying potatoes, most potato varieties will fall into three categories.  

  • Waxy 

The flesh is firm, thus holds its shape. They are perfect for salads or boiling. 

  • Floury 

 Fluff up when cooked, therefore ideal for chipping, roasting, and baking.  

  • All-rounder 

Some potatoes have characteristics of the above two categories – waxy and firm. Therefore, they are considered good in most uses. Furthermore, they are exemplary in smooth mashing due to their consistent creamy aspect.  


9 Most Popular Types Of Potatoes & Their Uses

1. Charlotte 

Charlotte is a long potato with a thin waxy light brown finish. The delicate skin lets you leave it on. The flesh is firm thus maintains shape when boiled. It's yellow, giving it a rich visual appeal in meals. It's a favourite pick for salads in the UK. Other uses include sautéing, slicing, boiling, and roasting.  

2. Maris Piper 

Maris Piper has one of the most significant market shares of all potatoes in the UK, probably because it's an all-rounder. It has smooth brown skin and creamy fresh. Besides being multipurpose, it's also popular due to its storability. It's easy to store and has a long shelf-life.  

some types of potatoes are good for chips and some not so great

Maris piper is mainly used for its chips. It makes some of the best chips. Also, it performs well when used for boiling, mashing, frying, and roasting. Next time you want to make some fries, try this variety.  

3. King Edward 

King Edward is named directly after the famous King Edward. Dating back to 1902, they are among the oldest varieties in the market. They are found in almost every supermarket, grocery store, allotments, and backyard garden.  

Although it closely resembles Maris Piper and oval in shape, it's smaller in size. It has light brown skin that is very easy to peel. The creamy-white flesh is floury and waxy, thus ideal for roasting, mashing, and boiling.  

4. Jersey Royal 

Just like the name suggests, this potato variety is unique and exclusive to Jersey Island. Having been grown on the island for more than 140 years, jersey Royal is also among the oldest types.  

When cooking this potato, you don't have to peel the skin; wash them clean. Jersey Royal waxy and is small in size, thus ideal for boiling and use in potato salads.  

5. Desiree 

Desiree is a very versatile variety. It's been exported and grown in other areas such as parts of Asia and East Africa. It can be significant in size. This type of potato is an all-rounder.  

The Desiree potato has shiny red skin and creamy yellow flesh. The flesh is also firm and waxy, which qualifies it for chips, mashing, potato wedges, and roast potatoes.  

6. Romano 

Romano also originated from the Netherlands and is characterized by its distinct red skin and cream flesh. In addition, it has a soft, dry texture. It's multipurpose.  

It's used in the preparation of fried and boiled dishes, pastries, casseroles, and salads. It also produces high-quality chips and fries.   

7. Vivaldi 

Vivaldi originated from the Netherlands. The potato variety is typically small to medium in size. It also has a round to oval shape. Its texture is firm yet creamy and soft. Both its skin and flesh are yellow. 

It has a mild buttery flavour. It's typically boiled, steamed, or mashed.  

8. Rooster 

Having been introduced by the Irish government in 1993, the rooster potato variety is relatively young. However, it's gained popularity across Ireland, Scotland, and England. It has red skin and a light yellow colour. Despite having a starchy consistency, it is an ideal all-rounder.  

Rooster tubers are of medium to large size and are round and oval. They have wide use in the kitchen, such as baking, roasting, and boiling. Though not common, it can also be deployed for other uses, such as mashing.  

9. Anya 

Anya has golden-brown skin and creamy white flesh. It is long, narrow, and very waxy. It's perfect for preparing salads and for boiling. It has a distinct nutty flavour that differentiates it from other varieties. 


Which Are The Best Potatoes To Use?

When ranking potatoes in terms of their suitability in a certain angle, it's always subjective. The ranks below have been arrived at from numerous user reviews, skilled chefs, and reputable researchers.  

types of potatoes

Best for frying – Maris piper 

Best for mashing – Vivaldi, Desiree 

Best for roasting – King Edward, Desiree 

Best for potato salad – Charlotte, Anya, Jersey royal 

Best for boiling and steaming – King Edward, Maris Piper, Charlotte 

Best for baking – Maris piper 

Best for chips – King Edward, Maris Piper, and Desiree 

Best for stews and soups – Maris piper 


Summing Up

Having a good understanding of the different potato varieties and their uses will help you plan your next meals appropriately. Potato is an excellent addition to most dishes, but only if used for the proper purpose. So the next task for you is to look for potato recipes and start preparing your dream dish and invite friends to have a taste of your cooking prowess.  

Cate Nderi