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Jewish Recipes --> Jewish and Israeli Foods --> Potatoes

The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Nightshade family. The word may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species. Potatoes were introduced outside the Andes region four centuries ago, and have become an integral part of much of the world's cuisine. It is the world's fourth-largest food crop, following rice, wheat and maize. Long-term storage of potatoes requires specialized care in cold warehouses.

Recipes --> Potato Recipes

Wild potato species occur throughout the Americas, from the United States to southern Chile. The potato was originally believed to have been domesticated independently in multiple locations, but later genetic testing of the wide variety of cultivars and wild species proved a single origin for potatoes in the area of present-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia (from a species in the Solanum brevicaule complex), where they were domesticated 7,000–10,000 years ago. Following centuries of selective breeding, there are now over a thousand different types of potatoes. Of these subspecies, a variety that at one point grew in the Chiloé Archipelago (the potato's south-central Chilean sub-center of origin) left its germplasm on over 99% of the cultivated potatoes worldwide.

The annual diet of an average global citizen in the first decade of the 21st century included about 33 kg (73 lb) of potato. However, the local importance of potato is extremely variable and rapidly changing. It remains an essential crop in Europe (especially eastern and central Europe), where per capita production is still the highest in the world, but the most rapid expansion over the past few decades has occurred in southern and eastern Asia. China is now the world's largest potato-producing country, and nearly a third of the world's potatoes are harvested in China and India.

According to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, potatoes are wrongly classified as high on the Glycemic Index, which ranks carbohydrates from one to 100 according to how quickly they are broken down during digestion into basic glucose. Pure glucose scores 100. The lower the rank, the longer it takes for the food to be absorbed, and the longer we feel satiated after eating it.

This is why a diet of low GI foods is recommended to those wanting to lose weight.

However, the research revealed that the GI of potatoes varies depending on the type, where it is grown and the preparation methods.

For example, the GI may be medium to low when potatoes are eaten cooled, rather than hot, and when boiled and consumed whole, rather than mashed.

Potatoes provide the body with an essential source of fuel and energy, which you need even when dieting. As a rich carbohydrate source, they help to fuel all reactions in the body which you need for movement, thinking, digestion and cellular renewal.


Potatoes were eaten by 19th Century English and Spanish sailors to fend off scurvy. Surprisingly rich in immune-boosting Vitamin C, a medium potato (150g) with the skin provides 27mg, almost half of the recommended daily intake.

Potatoes are also a rich source of Vitamin B, folate and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and iron. Potatoes are underground tubers, meaning that they store all the vitamins and minerals needed for growing new potato plants in spring.

Rather than being bland and starchy, they're actually full of nutrients.


  • Potatoes are used to brew alcoholic beverages such as vodka, potcheen, or akvavit.
  • They are also used as food for domestic animals.
  • Potato starch is used in the food industry as, for example, thickeners and binders of soups and sauces, in the textile industry, as adhesives, and for the manufacturing of papers and boards.
    Maine companies are exploring the possibilities of using waste potatoes to obtain polylactic acid for use in plastic products; other research projects seek ways to use the starch as a base for biodegradable packaging.
  • Potato skins, along with honey, are a folk remedy for burns in India. Burn centers in India have experimented with the use of the thin outer skin layer to protect burns while healing.
  • Potatoes (mainly Russets) are commonly used in plant research. The consistent parenchyma tissue, the clonal nature of the plant and the low metabolic activity provide a very nice "model tissue" for experimentation. Wound-response studies are often done on potato tuber tissue, as are electron transport experiments. In this respect, potato tuber tissue is similar to Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans and Escherichia coli: they are all "standard" research organisms.

Culinary uses: Various potato dishes

Potatoes are prepared in many ways: skin-on or peeled, whole or cut up, with seasonings or without. The only requirement involves cooking to swell the starch granules. Most potato dishes are served hot, but some are first cooked, then served cold, notably potato salad and potato chips/crisps.

Common dishes are: mashed potatoes, which are first boiled (usually peeled), and then mashed with milk or yogurt and butter; whole baked potatoes; boiled or steamed potatoes; French-fried potatoes or chips; cut into cubes and roasted; scalloped, diced, or sliced and fried (home fries); grated into small thin strips and fried (hash browns); grated and formed into dumplings, Rösti or potato pancakes. Unlike many foods, potatoes can also be easily cooked in a microwave oven and still retain nearly all of their nutritional value, provided they are covered in ventilated plastic wrap to prevent moisture from escaping; this method produces a meal very similar to a steamed potato, while retaining the appearance of a conventionally baked potato. Potato chunks also commonly appear as a stew ingredient.

Potatoes are boiled between 10 and 25 minutes, depending on size and type, to become soft.

Popular varieties (cultivars) include:

  • Adirondack Blue
  • Adirondack Red
  • Agata
  • Almond
  • Alpine Russet
  • Alturas
  • Amandine
  • Annabelle
  • Anya
  • Arran Victory
  • Atlantic
  • Austrian Crescent
  • Avalanche
  • Bamberg
  • Bannock Russet
  • Belle de Fontenay
  • BF-15
  • Bildtstar
  • Bintje
  • Blazer Russet
  • Blue Congo
  • Bonnotte
  • British Queens
  • Cabritas
  • Camota
  • Canela Russet
  • Cara
  • Carola
  • Chelina
  • Chiloé[71]
  • Cielo
  • Clavela Blanca
  • Désirée
  • Estima
  • Fianna
  • Fingerling
  • Flava
  • French Fingerling
  • German Butterball
  • Golden Wonder
  • Goldrush
  • Home Guard
  • Irish Cobbler
  • Irish Lumper
  • Jersey Royal
  • Kennebec
  • Kerr's Pink
  • Kestrel
  • Keuka Gold
  • King Edward
  • Kipfler
  • Lady Balfour
  • Langlade
  • Linda potato
  • Marcy
  • Marfona
  • Maris Piper
  • Marquis
  • Megachip
  • Monalisa
  • Nicola
  • Norgold Russet[72]
  • Pachacońa
  • Pike
  • Pink Eye
  • Pink Fir Apple
  • Primura
  • Ranger Russet
  • Ratte
  • Record
  • Red La Soda
  • Red Norland
  • Red Pontiac
  • Rooster
  • Russet Burbank
  • Russet Norkotah
  • Selma
  • Shepody
  • Sieglinde
  • Silverton Russet
  • Sirco
  • Snowden
  • Spunta
  • Stobrawa
  • Superior
  • Villetta Rose
  • Vivaldi
  • Vitelotte
  • Yellow Finn
  • Yukon Gold


Sept 2005 - 2013 - Kosher Recipes - Kosher Cooking - Jewish Cooking - Jewish Recipes - Jewish Foods- Jewish Foods
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Bagels.