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New Potatoes

New potatoes are biologically the same plant as the ordinary potatoes, they are just harvested before their full maturity. This gives them a tender and sweet taste, and makes them smaller and more manageable in size and appearance. They are therefore suited for more culinary uses.

They are widely made in the US and grown both in small farms and gardens and in commercial setting as well. There’s a variety of different species and breads available.

New Potato Trivia

  • The Incas used potatoes to measure time,
  • It was first used as a decorative plant
  • They are 80 percent water

New Potato Buying Guide

You should start with making sure that the skin is clear and smooth and that there are no visible blemishes on it. The potatoes should be dry when you buy them and they should feel firm to the touch as well.

There’s sometimes a bit of dirt on them in the store or more commonly in the market and that’s a good sign because it means they are just harvested.

New Potato Production & Farming in Texas

There are tens of thousands of acres of land being used to grow potatoes in Texas and dozens of different varieties as well. They are grown in all parts of the state and but the biggest commercial areas are: The High Plains – Panhandle, extending from Seminole northward to Dalhart; the Rolling Plains – Munday; the Upper Coast – Winter Garden; and the Rio Grande Valley.

The temperature changes that are common in Texas are perfect for growing potatoes. They include cold nights and high light intensity for most of the day. This is especially true during the scotching hot summers when the growth is the fastest.

The soil needs to be well-drained but beyond that there’s no special requirement from Texas soil. There are a few areas of Texas with a lot of clay in the soil and those should be avoided when it comes to growing potatoes.

The harvest depends on the area you live and grow in. Harvesting begins in April in the Rio Grande Valley. The Winter Garden area harvests in late April through mid-May. Digging begins in the Rolling Plains area in early June. The Seminole area of the High Plains starts to harvest by mid to late June. Muleshoe, Farwell, Springlake, Hereford, Dimmitt, Hart, Olton, and Plainview harvest is in full swing by early to mid-July. Acreage in Dalhart is mostly for September-October harvest.

Pesticides

As much as 35 different pesticides are used on potatoes. The most common of this is a chemical called chlorpropham used to fight weeds.

Geography

Potatoes come from the Americas and were grown centuries before the “discovery” and were a big part of the local culture. They were then brought to Europe where it was first used as a decorative plant and it especially take root in Ireland.

Now potatoes are grown across the country and across the world. The biggest producer in the US is Idaho and Texas and California are at the top as well. New potatoes are also grown everywhere but they are most used close to urban centers and large markets.

Packaging

There are a few ways to package new potatoes and all of those are used on potatoes when they are fully matured as well. Potatoes can be packed in sacks and transported in every vehicle imaginable. When they are moved short distances they are kept in cardboard boxes with no lid on.

Sometimes they are moved without cleaning with a dirt still on them, which is a good way to tell that they are still fresh and harvested recently.

Eating New Potatoes

New potatoes could be prepared in pretty much any way an ordinary one would be, but they have a tender flesh and a sweeter taste which is something to keep in mind when using them. They should be cleaned first and they peel of rather easily.

For the most part potatoes are being boiled in hot water in which you add salt and that shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes which is how long these potatoes need to become tender enough to be smooshed with a fork.

New potatoes should be dressed as soon as they are cooked so that they could absorb the flavor while they are still hot and that happens easier.

Storage

New potatoes can’t be stored as long as the ordinary mature ones. That’s because their skin is thin and they are more prone to being damaged by water. Keep the potatoes in paper bag or plastic sack and make sure they are away from any water or damp places.

You should also keep it away from direct sunlight and a pantry is probably the best place to achieve both.

Cooking

New potatoes can be boiled or roasted. Boiling is the easier part and it usually takes up to 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the potato. Add some sault, a good chunk of butter and some herbs to spice things up.

New potatoes are also great roasted which is a bit trickier because you can overdo it, but not that complicated at all.  They should be left whole and roasted with olive oil and fresh rosemary. About a dozen will make for a good meal.

Nutrition

Potatoes are mainly composed of carbs, primarily in the form of starch. The carb content ranges from 66–90% of dry weight Simple sugars — such as sucrose, glucose, and fructose — are also present in small amounts. Potatoes usually rank high on the glycemic index (GI), making them unsuitable for people with diabetes. The GI measures how foods affect your rise in blood sugar after a meal.  However, some potatoes may be in the medium range — depending on the variety and cooking methods Cooling potatoes after cooking may lessen their effect on blood sugar and lower their GI by 25–26%).

Even though potatoes are not a high-fiber food, they may provide a significant source of fiber for those who eat them regularly.  The level of fiber is highest in the skin, which makes up 1–2% of the potato. In fact, dried skins are about 50% fiber.  Potato fibers — such as pectin, cellulose, and hemicellulose — are mainly insoluble They also contain varying amounts of resistant starch, a type of fiber that feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut and improves digestive health).  Resistant starch can also improve blood sugar control, moderating your rise in blood sugar after meals. Compared to hot potatoes, cooled ones offer higher amounts of resistant starch.

When Are New Potatoes in Season in Texas?

One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas.

Nutrition

DV%

  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 278 14%
  • Carbs: 63.2g 21%
  • Sugar: 3.5g 0
  • Fiber: 6.6g 26%
  • Protein: 7.5g 15%
  • Fat: 0.4g 1%
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1g 1%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 29.9mg 1%
  • Vitamin C 28.7mg 48%
  • Vitamin A 29.9IU 1%
  • Calcium 44.8mg 4%
  • Iron 3.2mg 18%
  • Potassium 1600mg 46%
  • Vitamin B6 0.9mg 46%
  • Vitamin E 0.1mg 1%
  • Vitamin K 6mcg 7%
  • Magnesium 83.7mg 21%
  • Phosphorus 209mg 21%
  • Manganese 0.7mg 33%
  • Zinc 1.1mg 7%

Seasonality

When are apples in season in Texas?

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

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