This post at the Hudson Saratoga Farm Report on NY potato varieties was SO interesting to me today. I did not know that this is the beginning of potato season (really, December?) or that potatoes even had a season (ok, that’s me sticking my head in the ground – EVERYTHING has a season – I’m just new to this knowledge the past few years and learning more every month!
I also didn’t know that potatoes grow best where they were developed, so western potatoes (like the Yukon Gold, above ) cannot be grown well here in NY.
The Cornell Cooperative Extension is an outreach of Cornell University that originally began in 1914 as a way to apply “land-grant university research” to farmers and rural families. Today, the CCE affects urban, suburban AND rural families as it offers education and programs in lots of different areas from food to economics, to children. It truly is a bedrock in New York State.
So here is what John Mishanec of the CCE had to say about the NY potato varieties:
Adirondack Blue – low starch
A new potato that is very popular because of its blue skin and blue flesh. Excellent flavor. You cannot go wrong with this potato. Combined with Adirondack Red and a low starch white potato, makes a great red, white and blue potato salad. People love the color. Good for showing your patriotism.
Adirondack Red – low starch
Another new potato developed by Cornell. It has red skin and flesh. It’s great for potato salad. People love the pink flesh color. You can make great chips from both the red and blue varieties.
Keuka Gold – intermediate starch content
A pail yellow fleshed variety with good disease resistance. Very good eating quality, and also the highest-yielding variety ever released by Cornell. This is why many farmers like this variety.
Salem – low starch content
Round to oblong, slightly flattened fresh-market variety with bright white skin. Has probably the best flavor of any potato you will find. Try it and you will be hooked.
Eva – intermediate starch content
A very attractive white-skinned variety, released by Cornell in 1999. The tubers have shallow eyes and bright skin. Does everything well in the kitchen and has good flavor. Named after the mother of the Cornell potato breeder who developed it.
This is the newest variety released by Cornell. It is a good looking table-stock potato. Good boiling quality. Has a pale yellow flesh.
Other varieties grown locally
Katahdin – intermediate starch content
An older fresh market variety, and the most widely grown variety in NY in the 1950s through the 70s. White flesh and bright white skin. Developed in Maine, and named after Mount Katahdin. Good all rounder and stores very well.
Chieftain and Red Norland – low starch content
Both are red varieties that are widely grown in NY. Good eating quality. Great for mashed potatoes. Both are the standard red varieties.
Do you have a Cooperative Extension where you live? It really is a fabulous resource.
These are NY varieties and local (to PA and ME) ones as well here. Do you know your local potato varieties?