Types of Potatoes

Replenish Your Pantry with 27+ Best Types of Potatoes

Potatoes are one of our earth’s most important staple foods.

This guide will give you all the information on the types of potatoes.

And you will know a potato’s characteristics and apply them to recipes.

So that…

If you are thinking of improving your food supply with potatoes, this article is for you.

Let’s dive right in.

Table of Contents

Chapter #1: What is a potato?

types of potatoes

The potato is a root vegetable.

They are not only considered annual plants but also are one of the world’s leading food crops.

Most parts of the potato plant are inedible, except for the tubers.

According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, potatoes are the fourth most consumed behind rice, wheat, and corn.

Chapter #2: History of potatoes

history of potatoes

Potatoes are often called spuds. Because spades were used to plant and dig potatoes in the Medieval.

So that the tubers themselves eventually acquired the name spud.

The potato was domesticated in South America, specifically in southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia.

That history extends as far back as 7000 – 10000 years B.C.

This was also a primary food crop of the Inca civilization until the Spanish conquistadors explored South America in the 16th century.

They introduced this root tuber to Europe in the second half of the 16th century.

Following millennia of selective breeding, there are now over 5000 different types of potatoes.

Today they are a staple food in many parts of our planet and an integral part of much of the world’s food supply and the United States.

Chapter #3: Potato plant basics

The potato is a starchy tuber of the plant Solanum tuberosum.

The plant itself is a perennial in the nightshade family, Solanaceae.

The compound leaves are spirally arranged. Each leaf is 20 – 30 cm (or 8 – 12 inches) long and consists of a terminal leaflet and 2 – 4 pairs of leaflets.

The white or purple flowers have 5 fused petals and yellow stamens.

Potato’s fruit is a small poisonous berry with numerous seeds.

The vegetative and fruiting parts of the potato contain the toxin solanine, so you must not eat any part of them.

The only part you can eat is the tuber of the potato plant.

A tuber is a swollen end of an underground stem. The stems extend underground into structures called stolons. The lots of the stolons may enlarge significantly to form a few to more than 20 tubers. Tubers come in many shapes and sizes. This is the most nutritious part of the potato plant. 

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Chapter #4: Types of potatoes

Types of potatoes - Lifeee blog

Up to now, there are more than 4000 native potato varieties.

Among them, 1000 varieties are known of various sizes and shapes.

There are also more than 180 species of wild potatoes.

In the United States, you can buy more than 199 different types of potatoes in stores.

That said, there are wide varieties of potatoes that you can choose to plant in your garden whenever you get bored.

Anyway, your end goal is to use them.

So, we usually divide potatoes into three main groups based on the texture of potatoes when cooked.

A – Starchy potatoes

The name might give you some ideas.

Starchy potatoes are potatoes with a high starch, thicker skin, and low moisture.

This combination gives these potatoes a unique character, flaky flesh, and a dried potato.

It also has a floury texture with creamy white flesh.

When you prick or cut them, they release a milky starchy liquid.

These typical potato varieties include:

1. Russet potatoes
  • Russet Burbank (Idaho)
Russet Burbank potatoes - Lifeee blog

Russet Burbank is a common and popular potato you can find anywhere.

The original clone was “Burbank,” discovered in the 1870s by Luther Burbank.

Russet is oblong and large in size.

It also has mildly rough dark brown skin, few eyes, white flesh, dry and mealy.

This is the best choice for mashing, baking, and frying.

  • Ranger Russet
Ranger Russet potatoes - Lifeee blog

The Ranger Russet is a late-maturing potato.

It was initially bred by Joseph J. Pavek of the USDA in Aberdeen, Idaho, and released in 1991 by the USDA and Agricultural Experiment Station of Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

It has high solids, long and slightly flattened shape with a medium-russet-color skin and white flesh. Eyes are numerous and medium to deep.

It yields medium to high numbers of tubers with a short dormancy period.

Ranger Russet develops solids more rapidly than Russet Burbank, and the frying quality of Ranger Russet is the same as for Russet Burbank.

  • Umatilla Russet
Umatilla Russet potatoes - Lifeee blog

Umatilla Russet is a moderately late maturing variety of potatoes.

The potato was named by the state of Oregon after the Umatilla tribe. It was jointly released by the Agricultural Experiment Station of Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1998.

Umatilla Russet is less susceptible than Russet Burbank to tuber shape and physiological problems induced by moisture stress.

Medium to high yielding variety, good tuber uniformity. Medium-long dormancy period.

Relatively resistant to hollow heart, brown center, growth cracks, and sugar ends, but more susceptible to blackspot and shatter bruise than Russet Burbank.

Tuber-specific gravity is higher and more uniform than Russet Burbank, and the lighter fry color holds up well throughout the storage season.

Taste test panels have rated the flavor and texture of Umatilla to be at least as good as or better than Russet Burbank.

2. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes technically are not potatoes.

All potatoes are tubers, but sweet potatoes are categorized as a root vegetable and part of the nightshade family.

  • Beauregard Sweet potato
Beauregard Sweet potatoes - Lifeee blog

Beauregard is a cultivar of sweet potato.

The late Larry Rolston developed it at Louisiana State University in 1987.

Beauregard has large, elongated tubers with thin, red-orange skins and deep, orange-colored flesh with a moist, light, and creamy texture.

More disease resistant than most varieties, it was bred to be resistant to fusarium wilt, soil rot, and rhizopus soft rot but not immune to nematodes.

Beauregard is a widely adaptable, easy-to-grow with extremely high yields and minor cracking.

  • Jewel Sweet potato
Jewel Sweet potatoes - Lifeee blog

Ubiquitous throughout North Carolina, Jewel sweet potatoes are another dependable and delicious crop.

Jewels are medium to large and are ovate and cylindrical in shape with tapered ends.

They are resistant to fusarium wilt, southern root-knot nematode, internal cork, and sweet potato beetle.

Jewels have a deep orange moist flesh wrapped tightly in a copper-orange-colored skin. It is also covered in tiny root hairs and shallow eyes.

Its flavor is sweet with a subtle earthiness, less intensely sweet than Beauregard, and nuances of chestnuts.

  • Purple Sweet potato
Purple Sweet potatoes - Lifeee blog

The purple sweet potato has only been available commercially since 2006 and has somewhat mysterious origins.

The tubers taper to points on both ends and are members of the Ipomoea genus, just like other sweet potatoes.

Purple sweet potatoes are mildly sweet and almost wine-like in taste.

They tend to be much drier, slightly sweeter, and denser than traditional sweet potatoes.

There are two primary varieties—Okinawa (white skin) and Stokes (purple skin)—though they share the characteristic of having a deep purple flesh.

The color comes because of an antioxidant called anthocyanin, the same antioxidant responsible for the color of red cabbage, red wine, and purple cauliflower.

3. Yams
Yams - Lifeee blog

Yam is the common name for some plant species in the genus Dioscorea (family Dioscoreaceae).

They are perennial herbaceous vines cultivated for the consumption of their starchy tuber and are generally imported to America from the Caribbean.

Some yams are the size and shape of regular potato or jumbo, and others can grow up to 1.5m (5ft) in length and weigh over 100lbs (70kg).

Yams have a cylindrical shape with blackish or dark brown skin and a white, yellow, purple, or reddish flesh.

It is rough and scaly and deficient in beta carotene. Yams are starchier, drier, and neutrally flavored than sweet potatoes.

B – Waxy potatoes

Waxy potatoes are low in starch, high in sugar, and have more moisture than starchy potatoes.

They have thinner skin, a smoother texture, are creamy, and are generally smaller and rounder.

They tend to hold their shape well, even after cooking.

That means slices or cubes hold up when boiled or baked.

1. Red potatoes

Red potatoes are one of the most popular types of potatoes in the world.

They’re a staple in many countries and are used in many recipes.

Farmers grow these potatoes mainly for their fleshy texture that can be boiled, baked, mashed, or fried.

They are often used to make potato salads, soups, and stews.

  • Red Bliss
Red Bliss potatoes - Lifeee blog

The Red Pontiac (also known as Dakota Chief) is a red-skinned early main crop potato variety initially bred in the U.S.

The Red Pontiac is an early main crop variety, maturing up to 15 days earlier than most varieties of potatoes.

The flavor is best described as having a sweet taste and a waxy texture with a middling yield that ranges from 38 to 70 bushels.

  • Red Pontiac
Red Pontiac potatoes - Lifeee blog

Red Norland is a red, early-maturing potato.

This potato variety was developed in 1868 by James Combe, an Englishman credited with introducing potatoes to England.

Red Norland averages about 6.5-8 oz per pound.

Smaller tubers (B and C size) are commonly sold as “baby reds.” This variety is often served boiled or in potato salads.

Regarding potatoes, Red Norland is one of the top choices.

Bred by crossing two other potato varieties, this red potato is available in both A and B-size tubers. It is suitable for baking, boiling, or mashing.

  • Red Norland
Red Norland potatoes - Lifeee blog

Red Norland is a red, early-maturing potato.

This potato variety was developed in 1868 by James Combe, an Englishman credited with introducing potatoes to England.

Red Norland averages about 6.5-8 oz per pound.

Smaller tubers (B and C size) are commonly sold as “baby reds.” This variety is often served boiled or in potato salads.

Regarding potatoes, Red Norland is one of the top choices.

Bred by crossing two other potato varieties, this red potato is available in both A and B-size tubers. It is suitable for baking, boiling, or mashing.

2. Fingerling potatoes

A Fingerling potato is a small, stubby, finger-shaped type of potato which may be any heritage potato cultivar.

Fingerlings are varieties that naturally grow small and narrow.

They are fully mature when harvested and are not confused with new potatoes harvested before they are fully ripe.

A fingerling potato is best boiled, mashed, and served with butter, chopped parsley, and peas.

  • Russian Banana
Russian Banana potatoes - Lifeee blog

The Russian Banana Fingerling potato is the best-known and most common fingerling type.

They are small in size and are oblong, slender, and crescent in shape, averaging 6-7 centimeters in length.

An heirloom originating in northeastern Europe, they have dense, creamy, white, or yellow-colored flesh.

The skin is khaki-colored with many light brown spots freckled across the surface and a few medium-set eyes.

When cooked, Russian Banana fingerling potatoes are fluffy and have a full-bodied, buttery, and nutty taste.

  • French Fingerling
French Fingerling - Lifeee blog

French Fingerling Potatoes are an heirloom potato variety known for their exceptional nutty and sweet flavor.

They are small to medium in size and are slender and cylindrical in shape with a rounded end.

This is a late-season variety, usually taking 95-125 days to grow in the garden.

These skinny 3″-4″ long potatoes have thin and smooth red skin and rich yellow flesh.

The flesh is firm, dense, slippery, and is a marbling of pink, ivory, and gourmet-quality flavor.

French fingerling potatoes stay firm and waxy when cooked and offer a robust, earthy, nutty, and buttery flavor.

They are usually boiled, roasted, or added to salads or casseroles.

  • Swedish Peanut Fingerling
Swedish Peanut Fingerling potatoes - Lifeee blog

Swedish Peanut Fingerling potato, also known as “Mandelpotatis” or “Almond,” is a dry golden-fleshed late-season heirloom fingerling potato.

They are teardrop-shaped, highly productive, versatile finger-sized potatoes with buttery flesh and rich heirloom flavor.

They are perfect for roasting, salads, and gratins.

Best sliced and pan-fried or split and roasted, brushed with olive oil, and salads, too!

  • Rose Finn Apple
Rose Finn Apple potatoes - Lifeee blog

The Rose Finn Apple is a fingerling potato called Ruby Crescent and Austrian Crescent.

The small finger-shaped tubers exhibit eyes of medium depth, smooth rose-colored skin, pale yellow, waxy, moderately dry flesh, and outstanding flavor.

Though not as easy to grow as Banana, this potato’s exquisite flavor and cooking qualities set it apart.

Rose Finn Apple Fingerlings are incredibly delicious when roasted.

C – All-purpose potatoes

One of the most versatile vegetables for the kitchen, an all-purpose potato is usually medium starch content (15-17%). It falls somewhere between starchy and waxy potatoes.

They have more moisture than starchy potatoes and hold together in boiling water.

All-purpose potatoes are famous for many dishes, from mashed potatoes to french fries.
They can be used in boiled, baked, or roasted potato recipes.

As the middle-of-the-road potato, all-purpose potatoes usually suffice as a substitute for any starchy or waxy potato recipe.

1. White potatoes

White potatoes, also known as Irish white potatoes or Irish potatoes, are an all-purpose potato type with typically white, thin skin and white flesh.

White potatoes can be found in two distinct shapes: round white and long white.

Round white potatoes are easily identified by their smooth, thin, light tan skin, white flesh, and round shape. Long white potatoes are shaped more like a russet shape but have silky smooth skin, few eyes, and a bright white appearance.

White potatoes can be grown in many locations but are a particular favorite in the warmer climates of the southern United States, where the thick-skinned varieties do not grow well.

The texture and flavor of white potatoes have been described as slightly creamy and dense, with a very mild and subtly sweet undertone.

White potatoes have a medium-starch content, lower than the equally popular fresh market Russet cultivar, which helps perform very well in various preparations such as boiling, mashing, steaming, roasting, potato soups, and in a crock pot or casserole dishes.

  • Yukon Gold
Yukon Gold potatoes - Lifeee blog

Yukon Gold is a large cultivar of potato most distinctly characterized by its thin, smooth, eye-free skin and yellow-tinged flesh.

Developed in Canada, Yukon Golds are a cross between a North American white potato and a wild South American yellow-fleshed one.

A perfect compromise between dry, fluffy russet potatoes and moist, waxy varieties, Yukon Golds are incredibly versatile.

They’re superb for mashing, soups, chowders, roasting and sauteeing.

  • Marcy
Marcy potatoes - Lifeee blog

Marcy is a late maturing white potato variety released from the Cornell University Potato Breeding program in 1990.

In trials conducted at the University of Florida, ‘Marcy’ demonstrated high yield and good tuber characteristics.

Relatively large tuber size at maturity. Few external defects; susceptible to bruising, internal heat necrosis, and hollow heart. Good storability. Medium dormancy period. Medium to high specific gravity.

It is used chiefly for chipping but can be used for baking and boiling. Chip color is good even after short to medium storage.

  • Pike
Pike potatoes - Lifeee blog

‘Pike’ is white skin, white flesh potato, resulting from a cross between Allegany and ‘Atlantic potato’.

It is resistant to infection by the golden nematode, common scab, golden necrosis, and foliage infection by Phytophthora.

Tubers of Pike are medium-sized, spherical with shallow lateral eyes and moderately deep apical eyes. The skin is buff-colored and slightly netted.

Pike is primarily grown for chipping; not well suited for table stock due to sloughing and darkening after cooking.

  • Superior
Superior potatoes - Lifeee blog

Released by the University of Wisconsin potato breeding program in 1962, Superior has been a widely-grown, popular variety over the last 70 years.

This variety is resistant to net necrosis and common scab; relatively resistant to internal heat necrosis; susceptible to blackleg, fusarium, leaf roll, viruses X and Y; and highly sensitive to Verticillium wilt.

It is also a tremendous early-season potato to grow in your home garden.

It yields medium numbers of tubers with a short dormancy period.

Superior potato matures in 85-90 days and is an all-purpose potato suitable for baking, mashing, boiling, or frying.

  • White Rose
White Rose potatoes - Lifeee blog

The White Rose potato originated in New York in 1893 when it was bred from a variety of Jackson potatoes using a proper seed ball by Rachel Chapman.

It is an oval-shaped potato with a thin outer skin that is light tan in color and smooth overall with a few tiny eyes.

The white flesh is firm and dense, with low starch content and a waxy texture.

It can be baked, boiled, or fried and is well suited for mashing.

White Rose potatoes are a good source of vitamin C and contain trace amounts of iron and fiber.

2. Yellow potatoes
  • Finnish (Finn)
Finnish or Finn potatoes - Lifeee blog

Finnish is a potato variety with European origins.

Finnish potatoes are small to medium in size. They are round, oval, to the crescent shape, averaging 10-12 centimeters in length. The beige to light tan skin is smooth with a few brown spots and patches.

Some deep-set eyes are scattered across the surface, creating a slightly bumpy appearance. The flesh is light yellow to white, firm, waxy, and moist.

When you taste Finnish, you will truly understand why in Europe, it is considered a gourmet potato.

The dark yellow flesh is moist with a bit of mealiness, excellent for baking, mashing, or frying.

Finnish potatoes are high in potassium and vitamin C and contain iron and fiber.

  • German Butterball
German Butterball potatoes - Lifeee blog

Described as butterless, the German Butterball has become an American favorite.

It doesn’t require extra seasoning to reveal a robustly satisfying flavor.

German Butterball potatoes are medium to large and round to oblong in shape, averaging 10-12 centimeters in length.

The pale, smooth, yellow skin is lightly netted with shallow eyes, dark brown spots, and brown patches.

The flesh is a vibrant yellow to gold, firm, waxy, and dense.

German Butterball potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, iron, and fiber. They also contain some antioxidants.

These great-tasting potatoes are the most versatile for every kind of preparation.

  • Carola
Carola potatoes - Lifeee blog

Yellow-fleshed potatoes have long been a preferred variety in Germany. They were bred to meet that preference.

The smooth skin ranges in color from pale tan to yellow, and light freckles are scattered across the surface.

The firm, creamy yellow flesh is dense, waxy, and moist with relatively low starch.

Carola potatoes are irresistible when roasted, grilled, fried, and mashed and maintain top quality in storage.

They are high in vitamin C and contain fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, carotenoids, and antioxidants.

  • Nicola
Nicola potatoes - Lifeee blog

Nicola potato is a very popular variety for late planting and harvesting at Christmas time.

The skin is thin and very light brown with cream-colored flesh.

Nicola potatoes have a mild, nutty, and earthy flavor with a waxy consistency that develops into a smooth, fine-grained finish when cooked.

Nicola potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin B6 and C.

They are a good source of fiber, manganese, potassium, copper, and phosphorus.

The tubers are also considered to have a low glycemic index, which means the flesh contains slowly digested carbohydrates that can help regulate insulin levels and prevent blood sugar spikes.

3. Purple potatoes
  • Adirondack Blue
Adirondack Blue potatoes - Lifeee blog

The ‘Adirondack Blue’ is a potato variety released by Cornell University potato breeders Robert Plaisted, Ken Paddock, and Walter De Jong in 2003.

A staple of the specialty culinary market with beautiful purple coloring throughout.

Maturing in 80-90 days. Round to oblong, slightly flattened tubers have glistening blue skin enclosing deep blue flesh without the white vascular ring.

The moist flesh is very flavorful and holds its color well when cooked.

Very high in anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that can lower risks of heart and neurological diseases.

  • Violette
Violette potatoes - Lifeee blog

‘Vitelotte’ is a gourmet French variety of blue-violet potato. It has been cultivated in France at least since the early nineteenth century.

An early main-crop variety, Violette potatoes have smooth dark blue or purple skin and dramatic dark blue flesh.

They have a delicate sweet flavor and soft flesh and work well in savory dishes. To retain the color, it’s best to keep the skin on.

This earthy flavored potato is highly nutritious as it is packed with antioxidants and fibers and has more potassium than bananas.

  • Purple Majesty
Purple Majesty potatoes - Lifeee blog

The Purple Majesty potato is an excellent choice if you’re missing those majestic Colorado mountains where it was developed.

This early-maturing potato variety is typically ready to harvest 85-90 days after planting.

Purple Majesty Potato produces oblong potatoes with a dark purple, almost wine-colored skin.

The interior reveals a beautiful kaleidoscope of purple shades from light to dark.

The stunning, deep purple color of the skin and the inside of the potato will wow family members and guests alike, primarily when used for purple French fries or purple mashed potatoes.

  • Purple Peruvia
Purple Peruvia potatoes - Lifeee blog

The Purple Peruvian potato is native to Peru and Bolivia’s high plains and mountain slopes.

This variety displays excellent drought and heat tolerance and is ideally suited to growing in the Northern Hemisphere.

Purple Peruvian potatoes are small and slender, with many eyes scattered across the skin.

Its deep purple skin matches its inner violet flesh, but the flesh can also be somewhat opaque or marbled.

They are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, and antioxidants.

Best if roasted and then cut open to get to the fantastic color, or it can be fried.

  • All Blue
All Blue potatoes - Lifeee blog

All Blue is a tetraploid potato variety of unknown origin.

With deep blue skin and blue flesh sporting a white ring, tubers are oblong with deep eyes.

Moderate resistance to late blight, hollow heart, second growth, and common scab.

It was initially used as a marker potato. The dark blue tubers were used to show where similar varieties were separated in the field.

Its outstanding flavor and creamy texture make it perfect for baking and boiling.

  • Purple Viking
Purple Viking potatoes - Lifeee blog

Purple Viking is a certified seed potato and performs best in full sun, loamy, and sandy soils, producing high yields. It takes roughly 60 to 100 days to produce tubers.

The meaty tubers have unique purple-pink mottled skin and moist, bright white flesh with a rich, slightly sweet, buttery flavor.

Purple Viking has a long shelf life and good scab and leaf hopper resistance.

Excellent for both mashing and baking, Purple Viking rates higher than the famous Yukon Gold potato in terms of taste.

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So you know the famous potatoes in the world.

Now it’s your turn.

Let Lifeee know which potato you like best.

Are you going to prepare soil and compost for growing potatoes?

In fact, the best organic compost and garden soil used to grow hemp produce the best CBD gummies, with potatoes and cabbage no exception.

Maybe you’ve already picked the correct type of potato for your recipe.

Anyway, let me know by commenting below.

I would be happy to hear your stories.

And see you in the next post.

Let’s follow up!

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