Potatoes are America’s most used and favorite vegetable. They can be boiled, baked, fried, and micro waved, steamed, roasted, mashed, and placed in salads, with or without the peel. Potatoes are a perennial plant, and the fourth largest crop grown. Potatoes have a high water content as well as starch. The potato originated in South America, spanning back to the early 1400’s. There are 200 types of wild potatoes species, and potatoes are often used as feed for animals on farms. The first potato planted by Luther Burbank was in Idaho in 1836. Potatoes are grown commercially in at least 35 states in the USA, the majority of them being grown in Idaho and other places such as Washington, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Colorado, and Oregon. The common types of potatoes available in North America are russet Burbank, yellow fin, red gold, German butterball, Yukon gold.
Store potatoes in a cool, dark place with ventilation and they will keep for weeks. Do NOT store them in the refridgerator or they will turn brown and have develop a strange flavor. Aim for 45-50 degrees F, warmer and the potatoes will sprout and shrivel. Light causes potatoes to turn green, which imparts a bitter taste. You can store an apple with a potato to help prevent it from sprouting.
Scrub exterior gently if they are to be cooked unpeeled. bake, boil, deep-fry, fry, puree, roast, steam, stew
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