I would like to delve into one of my (and most chefs) favorite things to cook. We consume potatoes on a daily basis whether its mashed potatoes, french fries, chips, thickening soups, or even enjoying a glass of vodka with your caviar. Three hundred and twenty five million tons of potatoes are grown every year worldwide, but what are they actually made of?
Well to start one of the most desirable materials found in a potato is starch. A potato, depending on the variety, is composed of about 18% starch. This is what makes the potato one of the most consumed vegetables across the globe. Its what makes fries, roasted potatoes, potato pancakes, and home fries crispy, brown and delicious. You want high starch potatoes for frying and low starch for mashed potatoes, this is because If a potato is too starchy it will make gluey mashed potatoes. If you have got some time on your hands a bit of patience you can use the starch to your advantage to create a very cool windowed chip by slicing two very thin slices of potato putting a parsley leaf in between the two and frying them.
Depending on the variety of potato and where it was grown the water content of a potato is about 78%. The potatoes containing more water such as a Yukon gold or red bliss are best for mashed potatoes, gratins, or baking. The potatoes with less moisture content are best for frying or sauteing.
The rest of the potato is composed of many good things such as about 2-5% protein, which the USDA has concluded is of high nutritive value. Vitamin C, sugar, fiber, and.1% fat.
I hope to have taught you a little more about the potato and to help you appreciate this great vegetable. A vegetable that had fed the poor and starving for centuries.