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How to choose potatoes


DTMark
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No, really.

When I cook roast potatoes I want them quite dry and fluffy inside and with a crisp shell outside.

You can get a variety of different types in the UK and some are better for this than others.

Here in Italy while most fruit and veg is better the potatoes are absolutely shite. They don't keep long even in the fridge (which is a must) and some are borderline green when you buy them.

There are only ever two or three varieties, In not even sure the type is named on the pack. They're just potatoes here.

So about 50% of the time despite the same cooking technique they end up soft all through and devoid of flavour

What I need to know is how to tell if a potato is any good for roastng just by looking at it.

Is this possible..

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invalid

King Edwards are (in my opinion) the best for roasting. They can be identified by the pink patches.

Some extra info for roasties:

Sugar (in the potato) makes them go brown.
Store between 10-20c to avoid sugars
Sprouting potatoes causes sugar to be released
 

 

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Also worth storing potatoes in a  high-mass container such as cast iron or heavy ceramic, with a light proof lid. The container will mitigate temperature fluctuations. Boil the potatoes in equal sized chunks until almost falling apart. After draining, let them dry in the air, shake them in a sieve to roughen up surfaces.

Oil or preferably high temperature fat should be sizzling. Optional is to also spray some oil onto the cold spuds before putting into oven.

Don't forget salt, garlic and rosemary! Lol

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Option5
1 hour ago, DTMark said:

No, really.

When I cook roast potatoes I want them quite dry and fluffy inside and with a crisp shell outside.

You can get a variety of different types in the UK and some are better for this than others.

Here in Italy while most fruit and veg is better the potatoes are absolutely shite. They don't keep long even in the fridge (which is a must) and some are borderline green when you buy them.

There are only ever two or three varieties, In not even sure the type is named on the pack. They're just potatoes here.

So about 50% of the time despite the same cooking technique they end up soft all through and devoid of flavour

What I need to know is how to tell if a potato is any good for roastng just by looking at it.

Is this possible..

Pretty much the same in Norway :(

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Don't think you should boil for that long!

Try this;

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes and add them to a saucepan. Sprinkle with salt and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a full boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Combine the melted butter and olive oil on a large, shallow baking pan (about 17 x 11-inch) and tilt it back and forth to coat the surface evenly. If you can't cover the surface completely, add a little more oil. Place the pan in the oven for 5 minutes to preheat the butter-oil mixture.

Dust the potatoes lightly with flour, tossing to coat as evenly as possible. Add the potatoes to the hot fat and using tongs, turn the pieces to coat them with the butter-oil mix. Be sure to spread them in a single layer, allowing for a little space between the pieces.

Roast until browned and crisp, 45 to 50 minutes, turning the potatoes every 15 minutes to ensure that they brown evenly. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.

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swiss_democracy_for_all
3 hours ago, DTMark said:

No, really.

When I cook roast potatoes I want them quite dry and fluffy inside and with a crisp shell outside.

You can get a variety of different types in the UK and some are better for this than others.

Here in Italy while most fruit and veg is better the potatoes are absolutely shite. They don't keep long even in the fridge (which is a must) and some are borderline green when you buy them.

There are only ever two or three varieties, In not even sure the type is named on the pack. They're just potatoes here.

So about 50% of the time despite the same cooking technique they end up soft all through and devoid of flavour

What I need to know is how to tell if a potato is any good for roastng just by looking at it.

Is this possible..

You type "Andean Sunside" into Google, and if you can get these potatoes, you use them for everything including roasting, once tasted you will never go back. If you can't get them, sob quietly for a while, then try and get King Edwards, and if not them, then get whatever potatoes that your local shops claim are good for baking, but as you're in Italy these will likely be inferior to what you're used to. 

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wherebee
8 hours ago, Herby said:

Also worth storing potatoes in a  high-mass container such as cast iron or heavy ceramic, with a light proof lid. The container will mitigate temperature fluctuations. Boil the potatoes in equal sized chunks until almost falling apart. After draining, let them dry in the air, shake them in a sieve to roughen up surfaces.

Oil or preferably high temperature fat should be sizzling. Optional is to also spray some oil onto the cold spuds before putting into oven.

Don't forget salt, garlic and rosemary! Lol

in a wet climate if you store them in that way, moisture can form on the tatts and then you get mold and rot.  I use a hessian sack inside a storage container to wick the moisture away.  Also check your bag of tatts for any soft/damaged ones and do not store with the rest.

Also, if you store potatoes close to onions, they go off MUCH faster.  If your greengrocer is selling onions and potatoes close to each other, that might be why they are going of so fast.

I get my tatts now from a local farmer - 20 bucks for 25kg bag inc delivery and that lasts for ages as they are fresh.

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The easiest option if you can get them is just go for red potatoes. They're generally much better taste wise for roasting, jackets, etc. I don't know why that it, but it's apparently one of those widely accepted mantras.

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On 17/06/2021 at 18:28, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

You type "Andean Sunside" into Google, and if you can get these potatoes, you use them for everything including roasting, once tasted you will never go back. If you can't get them, sob quietly for a while, then try and get King Edwards, and if not them, then get whatever potatoes that your local shops claim are good for baking, but as you're in Italy these will likely be inferior to what you're used to. 

I wonder if they're similar to Mayan Gold. They're also very nice.

My favourite is Rudolph, a red skin.

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Wight Flight
1 hour ago, spunko said:

I wonder if they're similar to Mayan Gold. They're also very nice.

My favourite is Rudolph, a red skin.

Don't you mean nose?

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Anyone trivialising this question does not have the experience of a roast being ruined by inadequate roast potatoes.

Even in Italy there are some traditions which must be maintained.

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Funn3r

I must say I am impressed at how easy it is to grow potatoes. I had a bag of Waitrose Extra-Posh Prince Charles Duchy Organic and some went a bit sprouty so I put them in a grow bag. Coming up a treat now.

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DTMark
On 19/06/2021 at 15:35, Chewing Grass said:

Looks like @DTMark has just come up with a business idea for Italy, growing Potatoes.

They don't really grow in Italy. That's the problem.

Most supermarkets and small shops print "Grown in Italy" on the packets of fruit and veg. And indeed this is a plus-point. Normally.

Except their potatoes are dreadful.

They're not big on potatoes.

For the last three roasts we've used the same tutti gli usi ("multiuse") bags of potatoes from the same supermarket.

One made great roast potatoes, among the best I've had. The other two were shite.

I fear I may have to concede that some things are shite in Italy and potatoes are one of those things.

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Chewing Grass
7 minutes ago, DTMark said:

With each new bag there's fresh hope.

These aren't Italian.

 

IMG-20210701-WA0001.jpg

IMG-20210701-WA0000.jpg

How come the Israeli's can grow potatoes, it's hotter there than Italy?

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DTMark
2 minutes ago, Chewing Grass said:

How come the Israeli's can grow potatoes, it's hotter there than Italy?

I was wondering the same.

Maybe these will be shite, too

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swiss_democracy_for_all
17 hours ago, Chewing Grass said:

How come the Israeli's can grow potatoes, it's hotter there than Italy?

 

17 hours ago, DTMark said:

I was wondering the same.

Maybe these will be shite, too

 

I believe the issue is not so much climate but that in all climates the most commercially viable potatoes, i.e. the easiest to grow in large quantities, are the least tasty. Combine that with a world where people think that Macdonald's offerings are food, it's inevitable that taste and quality will be harder and more expensive to come by.

Now that Grand Frais stopped stocking them (they were about double the price of the normal shit potatoes which are approx 70 euro cents a kilo there, I paid the premium gladly having endured shit potatoes for years), look how much I have to pay for Andean Sunside potatoes if I want them, as well as having to have them delivered to a friend's house in France!

https://www.pourdebon.com/pommes-de-terre-andean-sunside-5kg-p3635

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Upsettah
On 17/06/2021 at 15:17, DTMark said:

No, really.

When I cook roast potatoes I want them quite dry and fluffy inside and with a crisp shell outside.

You can get a variety of different types in the UK and some are better for this than others.

Here in Italy while most fruit and veg is better the potatoes are absolutely shite. They don't keep long even in the fridge (which is a must) and some are borderline green when you buy them.

There are only ever two or three varieties, In not even sure the type is named on the pack. They're just potatoes here.

So about 50% of the time despite the same cooking technique they end up soft all through and devoid of flavour

What I need to know is how to tell if a potato is any good for roastng just by looking at it.

Is this possible..

In a previous life, I actually DID work for a potato wholesaler! I wish I could say there was a way of telling what makes a good roaster just by looking but there really isn't. I don't particularly like potatoes in any form other than chipped as I'm admittedly a bit of a Phillistine :wanker:

The only thing I can say, given past experience, is that Pentland Javelin is probably the best variety for it, so if you can get your hands on a bag of Javelin seed in Italy, go for it for next year. They're "first earlies" so you can harvest then from early July right up until mid-late December.

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reformed nice guy
55 minutes ago, DTMark said:

This week's roast has come out nicely

20210711_144936.jpg

I hope thats a Findus crispy pancake and non of that foreign shite

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