Woah! Is that what we think it is? The holy grail of vegetables? The one, the only, POTATO! The versatility of this spud has been celebrated for centuries in dishes from all over the world. Whether you’re mashing, frying, baking, or boiling them, potatoes are a delicious and versatile way to add some extra sustenance to your meal. Plus, not to mention, they’re pretty darn good for you too!
But how much do you really know about this humble little tuber? We’ve got all the need-to-know potato info right here. So, whether you want to learn how to store them properly or find out if they’re eco-friendly, read on!
What are potatoes?
Before we munch on them, it’s important to know a little bit about what potatoes are. Potatoes are a type of starchy tuber that grows underground. They’re part of the Solanaceae, or nightshade family which also includes tomatoes, aubergines, and peppers.
There are over 4,000 varieties of potato grown all over the world and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The most common type of potato in the UK is the Maris Piper, closely followed by the King Edward and Desiree potatoes. These actually are all different types of potato, but they all have one thing in common – they’re perfect for roasting!
Moreover, potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin C, B6, potassium, and fibre. They’re also low in calories and fat, making them a great option if you’re trying to watch your weight. Plus, they’re gluten-free, so they’re perfect for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
What makes potatoes so popular and somehow became a staple in almost every cuisine is that they can be used in so many different ways. You can boil them, fry them, bake them, or even mash them! And, as we mentioned before, they go with pretty much everything you can think of.
How long do potatoes last at room temperature?
If you’re planning on storing your potatoes at room temperature, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First of all, they should be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place. A cupboard or pantry away from any sources of heat is ideal. Preferably, they should be stored in a mesh bag or a paper bag to allow them to breathe.
Another thing to keep in mind is that potatoes should never be stored next to other fruits and vegetables. This is because they give off a gas called ethylene, which can speed up the ripening process of other produce. So, if you want your potatoes to last as long as possible, make sure they’re stored solo.
As a general rule of thumb, potatoes will last 1-2 weeks at room temperature. However, if you store them properly, they can last even longer. Just make sure to check on them every now and then to see if they’ve started to sprout or gone bad.
How long do potatoes last in the fridge?
For longer shelf life, potatoes can be stored in the fridge. However, this is only recommended for potatoes that have been cooked. Uncooked potatoes should not be stored in the fridge as the cold temperature can cause sugar to form, which will make them taste unpleasant. When stored in the fridge, cooked potatoes will last 3-5 days. However, the way it was cooked will affect how long they will last – boiled potatoes will only last 1-2 days while roasted potatoes can last up to a week. So, it still pays to be vigilant and check on them every few days.
How long do potatoes last in the freezer?
Though it’s not the best way to store potatoes long term, freezing them is an option if you need to. However, it’s important to note that this will change the texture of the potato and it will no longer be suitable for eating raw or boiled. Freezing potatoes is best suited for dishes where they will be cooked again such as mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, or french fries.
When frozen, potatoes will last 6-8 months. But, as with anything else, regular check-ups are still a good idea to make sure they’re still edible.
Where’s the best place to store potatoes?
As we mentioned before, the best place to store potatoes is in a cool, dark, and dry place. Approximately 45-50°F (7-10°C) is the ideal temperature for storing potatoes. Any warmer than that and they will start to sprout and any colder and they will begin to freeze. Also, make sure to keep them away from any sources of heat such as the oven, stove, or sun. And of course, keep them away from harmful chemicals or cleaners as well.
What are the risks of storing potatoes badly?
Mould and bruising are the two main risks of storing potatoes improperly. If they’re stored in a humid or damp place, they will start to grow mould which can quickly spread to the rest of the potato. If you see any signs of mould, it’s best to throw out the whole potato just to be safe.
Bruising happens when potatoes are dropped or knocked around. This can cause the flesh of the potato to become damaged and start to turn black or brown. While this doesn’t necessarily mean the potato has gone bad, it does affect its appearance and make it less appetizing.
What’s the most eco-friendly way to store potatoes?
There are a few different ways you can store potatoes in an eco-friendly way. One option is to store them in a cloth bag or a basket. This allows them to breathe and secures them so they don’t get knocked around, which reduces the risk of bruising. So basically, for you to be eco-friendly and store your potatoes properly, all you need is a little bit of fabric.
Another eco-friendly option is to store them in an old newspaper. As simple as it sounds, this is actually a really effective way to store potatoes. The newspaper will absorb any moisture and help keep the potatoes dry. Plus, you can just toss the whole thing in the compost when you’re done! it’s quite literally a win-win.
Is eating potatoes eco-friendly?
Yes! Potatoes are a very environmentally friendly food. They are typically grown using very little water and don’t require any pesticides. Plus, they are a great source of nutrition and can be used in many different dishes which makes them a very versatile food. So not only are they good for the environment, but they’re also good for you. So go ahead and enjoy those potatoes guilt-free!
As you can see, these little tubers are packed with a lot of information. But don’t let that overwhelm you, just remember to keep them in a cool, dark, and dry place and you’ll be good to go. And if you’re feeling a bit hungry, just grab a potato, find a recipe, and get cooking! For whatever way you prepare them, they sure hit the spot. Bon Appetit!