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The excellent properties of potatoes

Potatoes are one of the main foods in the kitchen and a point of reference for many gastronomic cultures. This is understandable given the vegetable’s great nutritional content, adaptability, and simplicity of growth. Potatoes are generally planted in the later winter months, while the harvest takes place around July and August. One of the features that has contributed to its success is that the potatoes can last for several months when stored in dark conditions.

The potato is an incredibly complete food. Its caloric intake is higher than that of the average vegetable, but it is not excessive. Some cooking methods, like frying, increase the calorie content. Potato is an excellent source of energy, offered above all by the carbohydrates it contains. However, there is no shortage of vitamins and mineral salts; the reference is to vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Depending on the variety, the glycemic index is generally low and highly variable.

The many varieties of potatoes

Given that potatoes are a vegetable that is grown almost everywhere in the world, there are a plethora of kinds available. However, it is possible to identify macro-typologies that are sufficiently uniform within themselves.

  • Yellow-fleshed. The pulp is compact and brightly colored. This variety is particularly suitable for frying or prolonged cooking. It is rich in carotene.
  • White-paste. The pulp is light, very soft, and floury. It is not suitable for prolonged cooking but is particularly suitable for making purées and gnocchi.
  • The consistency is similar to that of white potatoes. However, they are characterised by their purple colour, determined by a marked presence of anthocyanins, which are precious antioxidants.
  • The pulp is often distinguished by its vivid colour and noticeable compactness. They are therefore appropriate for lengthy and extremely intense cooking processes, such as foil baking.
  • They are characterised by thin skin and a minimal degree of ripeness. Their life cycle is short, so they should be consumed almost immediately. They are suitable for boiling (even with the peel).
  • Andean vegetables that have “survived” time differ from one another in terms of flavour, colour, and applications. A significant number of them have high protein content that is of high quality.

A focus on Andean potatoes

Andean potatoes have been cultivated for millennia and are known throughout the world for their nutritional characteristics and flavor. In fact, many think that potatoes are “all the same” and that the main distinction we can make is between yellow-fleshed potatoes and white-fleshed ones, respectively useful for different types of preparations. However, if we talk about the Andes and different ecosystems, it is obvious that everything changes. To date, around 70 varieties have been registered, although, unfortunately, it is not currently possible to cultivate all of them.

Either way, it’s helpful to know that the varieties of Andean potatoes that have “survived” over time differ from one another in terms of flavour, colour, and use. Many of them are characterised by a high content of good-quality proteins, decidedly higher than that which can be assimilated from common potatoes. Andean potatoes belong to the indigenous Solanum Tuberosum species and are also rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals important for our body.

They provide us with a good supply of fibre, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, as well as copper, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. They are also high in carbohydrates and starch. Naturally, there are differences amongst Andean potatoes; each variety excels based on its specific nutritional values. Whatever the reason, the fact is that when they are cooked, either by boiling or steaming, with their peels still on, they provide us with a satisfying fullness and offer a low glycemic index, lots of nutrients, and minimal calories. Consequently, I would argue that it is more than just your right to bring them to the table!

Some potato recipes

One of the most important characteristics of potatoes is their versatility. Potatoes may be used in so many different recipes; they can be used for first courses, side dishes, savoury pies, second courses (especially ones that need frying and breading), flans, and desserts.

Some of the most delectable recipes that can be made using potatoes can be found in this section. I particularly highlight the delicious cod and potato balls, the baked fish medallions, and more unique recipes such as the purple potato and banana ice cream.