New potatoes are young potatoes not yet fully grown. Most ‘early’ new season varieties are waxy compared to their ‘late’ season floury counterparts. New potato varieties include: Jersey Benne, Cliffs Kidney, Ilam Hardy, Maris Anchor and Rocket.
A perfectly-formed potato doesn’t necessarily mean you are buying ‘better’ – some varieties just have odd shapes. Natural dirt and dust can keep potatoes fresh so don’t clean spuds until you use them. Reject potatoes with green patches, cuts, bruises or shoots.
Store new potatoes in a well-ventilated dark place, not the fridge (which can change the potato’s flavour).
Potatoes provide fibre, antioxidants including vitamin C, plus useful amounts of some B vitamins. Always leave the skin on as many of the nutrients are in or just under the skin. Boiled cooled potatoes are higher in fibre, as some of their starch changes to ‘resistant starch’; this also lowers their glycaemic index (GI).
Using new potatoes
Potatoes cook differently so it is important to choose the right potato for the job. New potatoes keep their shape once cooked and cut, making them idea for boiling, casseroles and soups. They are also perfect for summer salads because of their sweetness (their sugar has not yet converted to starch like mature potatoes).
Did you know? Potatoes (spuds) are tubers – the name given to a swollen underground stem.