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Best Potato for Potato Salad

Tips Tasty

by Anna Tourkakis

Start with the Right Potato
For a great potato salad, start with the right potato.

Salads are a staple of summer menus. Ever present at cookouts, picnics and just about any party this time of year is the potato salad. Making a great potato salad starts with the right potato. Choose a potato that remains in distinct pieces after cooking. The right choice is the Waxy type potato. 

There are two basic types of Potatoes, waxy and non-waxy. The difference is due to their relative content of sugar and starch. The waxy potatoes are high in sugar and low in starch. The non-waxy potatoes are just the opposite: high in starch and low in sugar. These qualities influence how well they hold their shape during cooking.

Non-waxy type potatoes, such as the Idaho or russet potato, with their higher starch content, are ideal for mashing, baking and frying.  The waxy potato, such as Yukon gold and red potatoes, with their low starch content, are better suited for preparing boiled potatoes. Waxy potatoes retain a distinct outline after cooking is completed and hold their shape well during preparation.  Usually, potatoes that are round in shape, with a thin, smooth, and lighter colored skin tend to be waxy; long flat potatoes with thicker, darker, and coarser skin tend to be non-waxy.   

The potato of choice for a potato salad boasting solid pieces are Yukon gold, red potatoes, and other varieties of waxy potato.  



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