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Red Potatoes

Red potatoes are a variety of a common potato, which is a root vegetable originating from what’s today’s US and Mexico. These potatoes are smaller to medium in size and they are round and somewhat more uniform in shape than the ordinary ones.

These potatoes are dense in structure and waxier than the common variety. That’s what makes them a better option for mashing and this is how they are mostly used. Red potatoes are grown across the US.

Red Potato Trivia

  • Potatoes have been cultivated around 200 BC
  • The first potatoes arrived in North America in 1621 when Captain Nathaniel Butler, then Governor of Bermuda, sent two large cedar chests containing potatoes and other vegetables to Francis Wyatt, Governor of Virginia at Jamestown.
  • Potato chips have been invented by accident

Red Potato Buying Guide

These potatoes should be chosen pretty much in the same way as you would do with the other varieties. You should look for the potatoes that are firm and round in their shape and that don’t have any blemish on the skin.

These tomatoes should also feel a bit heavy and you should towards the bright and shiny skin as a sign that the potato is a good choice for mashing.

Red Potato Production & Farming in Texas

Tens of thousands of acres of Texas land are used to grow potatoes. There are also numerus different varieties made for different markets and purposes. These include: Red La Soda and Viking are the principal red skin varieties.

Potatoes grow in pretty much every kind of Texas soil as long as it’s well drained. Good yields depend on the quality of the soil and potatoes require clay loams, sandy loams, and loamy sands. Sandy soil is also easier to harvest from.

The amount of water that the potatoes will need depend on when do you plant them since you’ll need more of it when you plant the potatoes later and thus expose them to more heat. The estimated consumption for March is 0; for April = 1.5 inches; for May = 7.2 inches, for June = 12.0 inches; and for July = 6.0 inches. The total estimated water consumption for the crop is 26.7 inches

Harvesting practices also vary based on where the potatoes are planted and when.

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

According to the USDA’s Pesticide Data Program, 35 different pesticides have been found on conventional potatoes. The chemical that is found on 76% of all conventional potatoes is chlorpropham, an herbicide that is used to stop the growth of weeds and to inhibit potato sprouting.

Geography

Red potatoes were first cultivated in the middle America which is the today’s Peru. There they were found by the Spanish and moved to Europe. They become popular in Europe due to how easily they are to produce and how nutritious they are.

From there these potatoes were moved to what’s todays US. It’s grown pretty much everywhere in the US and it’s mostly sold in bulk and to general stores and markets since it’s used for mashing most of all.

Packaging

There’s no different in how these potatoes are packed and how all other potatoes are. They are easy to store and move and they are mostly packed in cardboard boxes or in sacks. The potatoes are then sold by the pound or by the sacks.

When they are stored for a long period of time, it’s important to keep the potatoes dry and away from too much direct sunlight.

Eating Red Potatoes

Red potatoes are mostly used for mashing. That’s because their texture is such that it makes for a creamier and more rich meal than it is the case with ordinary white potatoes. They could also be roasted with the same effect, but they are rarely used for the purpose of making chips and fries.

This is done by peeling of the skins of the potatoes and boiling them in hot water. After that the potatoes are mashed with butter and milk as well as other ingredients as needed.

Storage

Potatoes are easy to store and they can be stored for a long time which is one of their many advantages and upsides. It can be stored in sacks and they can be used months later if they are kept in a cold and dark room. That’s why basements and pantries are mostly used for this purpose since they have all it takes, and they are out of the way.

Cooking

The most common way to cook red potatoes is to mash them since their qualities are mostly suited to this dish. Here’s a simple recipe for doing so.

Boil potatoes in salted water until just fork-tender. Try not to overcook too much as they can become quite sticky or gluey when overcooked.

Sauté garlic in some butter until fragrant.

Drain potatoes and add in the hot milk, cooked garlic, remaining butter and sour cream.  Mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth, adding a little extra milk if needed. You can also use an electric hand mixer beater to ensure a smoother consistency. Beat just enough for them to smooth out while being extra careful not to over beat as they may become gluggy.

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 Red 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: 266 13%
  • Carbs: 58.6g 20%
  • Sugar: 4.3g 0
  • Fiber: 5.4g 22%
  • Protein: 6.9g 14%
  • Fat: 0.4g 1%
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1g 0%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 35.9mg 1%
  • Vitamin C 37.7mg 63%
  • Vitamin A 29.9IU 1%
  • Calcium 26.9mg 3%
  • Iron 2.1mg 12%
  • Potassium 1629mg 47%
  • Vitamin B6 0.6mg 32%
  • Vitamin E 0.1mg 1%
  • Vitamin K 8.4mcg 10%
  • Thiamin 0.2mg 14%
  • Magnesium 83.7mg 21%
  • Zinc 1.2mg 8%

Seasonality

When are apples in season in Texas?

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

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