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'Off' flavor in cooked potatoes


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Hello,

I do not know if this is a known issue, but cooked potatoes tend to gain an extra off flavour which I would like to find a way to get rid of.

does somebody knows what makes the taste (oxidation?) and how can I prevent it (e.g. brush with lemon juice) , or make it disapear (e.g. cook at a certain way).

thank you very much

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How do you cook them? Boil, baked, steam, fry, pressure cook, etc?  Do you cook them whole, peeled or with skin on? Do you slice and pan fry or make hash browns. When peeled or cut, Do you keep them in cold and or salted water until used? Or do they set out for a while? Do they turn brown in the air before you use them?

Edited by Norm Matthews (log)
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the flavour is something that has nothing to do with the kind or the way of cooking, cooked and baked alike all gain this flavour if they sit chilled for a day or two in the refrigirator. just to straighten things up, if you eat them right away there is no problem.

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Is the off-flavor the same whether the potatoes are eaten cold or reheated? I've never noticed a change in such a short time but I'm curious about what you're experiencing.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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as it seems, the bad taste is easier to sense when cold. I did notice that many people do not seem to care about the taste, and do not recognize it until being told to try and tell.

do you all not recognize it? oh, and I think that more time in the refrigirator make it stronger, although my mother are not sure of that (since I did not make a good experiment I will have to rely on feeling for now).

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I've been thinking about this all day because I have an issue with potatoes turning flavor.  Based on your comments, I'm not sure if its the same issue.  I use a lot of jumbo sized red potatoes, which always get peeled.  In one use they are chopped and boiled for mashed potatoes - no off taste.  the other use I melon ball them, then boil - these get an off taste.  The balls are held in their boiling water until service.  Something about holding them in the boil water that allows for the off taste.

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How firm are your potatoes before cooking? How are they stored?   

And another,  I know a bit stupid  question,  do you throw away  potatoes that are green or do you just peel away the green?    The reason for this question is green potatoes how small the speckle is  are poisonous and doesnt taste good.

 

Yeap, I was married to a potato farmer family once.... 

Edited by CatPoet (log)

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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I know that cooked potatoes once cooled do have a changed type of starch that has different properties than hot potatoes. Those cooled potatoes taking on flavors while refrigerated could just be taking on odors from the fridge, or you could be tasting bacterial action and decay. Is your fridge at proper temperature? That said, most moist low acid foods should be disposed of after 5 days, so you could just be tasting its patch to the garbage heap. I personally am not fond of cooled potatoes and tend to make warm potato salad, or at least make potato salad promtly, I don't make the potatoes a day ahead or anything like that, I don't like the texture.

 

Gfron1, I am thinking that maybe you are getting some sort or reaction with minerals in your water. Do you use filtered water? If yes, try putting a teaspoon of vinegar in the water, it will help keep the potatoes firm on the outside and will counteract some hard water minerals and minerals in the potatoes. (yes, potatoes have a lot of minerals, like iron, remember they turn brown when cut)

 

The only other thing I can think of (for gfron1) is that potatoes have a lot of vitamin C in them, but it gets destroyed when heat is applied for a long time. I don't know what it gets broken down into and what those by products taste like.

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gfron1 brings up an interesting point, whether it is actually the issue of the OP's question or not.

 

My family raise Potatoes too and on digging them would allow them to lay in the sunlight to dry some.  But sometimes they

got busy and they lay there too long and began to turn Green.  This is something to beware of when dealing with potatoes

as it denotes a toxin. 

 

 

When potatoes are exposed to light their skins start to turn green -- a sign that a toxic substance called solanine is developing.

 

 

The quoted comes from this article:

 

Harvesting Potatoes by National Gardening Association Editors

 

http://www.garden.org/foodguide/browse/veggie/potatoes_harvesting/574

 

Even if you sit the potatoes on the table where the sun can come in on them through the kitchen window

this process can begin. 

 

My old folks didn't really understand why the bad taste in their Kennebec variety potatoes. until they found an article

in "Organic Gardening" magazine that addressed what the article above sums up.  This particular variety was ready to harvest

here while there was still hours of daylight and 75 degree F temps. So it was easy for them to get "sunburnt" as they would say.

 

It is important for them to air dry, but just as important to protect them from the sunlight.  By the time they were obviously "green" they were nearly beyond using.

 

Again, I don't know if this is the actual issue the OP is dealing with but it is good to know about it.

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Waxy potatoes seem to taste different after chilling than starchy potatoes.  I'd say it's the starchy ones that develop the off tastes.  Strangely once fried - the off flavour seems to disappear from the starchy potatoes.

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In spite of what's written about green potatoes having solanine, which is a poison if enough is given, there cannot be much in a greened potato or one would see actual cases of potato poisoning being reported.

 

Most of the world knows nothing of the green potato problem and just peels it away and cooks it.  As did I for years before the internet was around.

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there are some interesting facts in here.

 

Waxy potatoes seem to taste different after chilling than starchy potatoes.  I'd say it's the starchy ones that develop the off tastes.  Strangely once fried - the off flavour seems to disappear from the starchy potatoes.

 

Kerry, have an idea why is that? and why only frying would remove it (we never fry at home, so it is quite possible we have missed it)? does it mean that is something that in a high temperture would reverse?

 

about the green potatoes, yes it is a know issue they are of a family of fruits and vegetables (and roots :-)) that when green are toxic, tomatoes are too (which is the cause to the time it took the italians to eat them).

 

between the lines I might conclude that the taste problem is something not common in the US right? did any of you try it after expecting to find the taste? if it is the case, maybe it has to do with the minerals in our water too (I think they are supposed to be rich in minerals and that they have fluoride )

 

I will try the vinigear thing (although it does not explain the taste after baking or cooking it in a soup) . the same taste comes to unpeeled boiled potatoes.

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In spite of what's written about green potatoes having solanine, which is a poison if enough is given, there cannot be much in a greened potato or one would see actual cases of potato poisoning being reported.

 

Most of the world knows nothing of the green potato problem and just peels it away and cooks it.  As did I for years before the internet was around.

 

Things do get reported, but, people either forget quickly or did not read the news carefully. I recall an entire school in Britain being hospitalized in 1979 after being served badly held potatoes for lunch (WaPo article, maybe?), and an in-depth article in Scientific American in the mid-1980s. The Sci-Am article went into detail about how not only were greened peels dangerous, but listed how much solanine was drawn into the interior of a potato when cooked dry (like baked) vs when cooked wet (boiled) and a goodly amount of solanine leaches out into the water and away from the center of the potato. I changed how I stored and prepared potatoes based on the article, and started to check potatoes at the store prior to purchase for green areas. I was surprised that the general news outlets did not pick up the story, when so many other research papers were picked up by the news. A scientist friend of mine pointed out that the food industry had just gone crazy making 'potato skin' products (crisps, frozen, stuffed, etc.) and that news that the skins could be poisonous sometimes would just kill off whole product lines, so, outlets like CNN were probably being paid to not air this news.

 

About a decade ago a paper came out showing that consuming potatoes and, to a lesser extent tomatoes and eggplant as long as three days prior to surgery interfered with the human body's ability to flush out surgical anesthesia, sometimes with patients still under the influence of the meds hours or days longer than expected. -Thus possibly being the reason why anesthesiology is such a difficult practice, with some patients winding up very overmedicated and some undermedicated. It was on the science newsfeeds, but, regular news never picked it up. I don't know how or why some news stories have traction and others do not. (of course, this past week there was exciting news about granny smith apples, and no one has picked that up either)

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hmm, what news about granny smith?

Here you go but let's not get off topic too far. This is about potatoes.

http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20140310-26283.html

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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gfweb: we get taught this in school here in Sweden.  Also many mistake solanine poisoning for upset tummy or   they gotten bad meat , therefore gotten ill or gotten a tummy bug.  It seldom it gets as bad as in the  UK.

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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I was taught all kinds of things in school that are questionable :-)

 

OK. I just spent 20 minutes searching medline.

 

There is one report, cited above, where a bunch on kids got sick after eating excessively green potatoes. Maybe they were the cause. Plausible.

 

There is a report from 1918 of a single case.

 

That's it.

 

The rest are animal studies. Lots of them.

 

There is a reference that describes low absorption of orally administered potato toxin(s).

 

Draw what conclusions you will.  I'm still avoiding them, but I'm not sure it matters,,

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I think it is as simple as leftover potatoes do not taste the same as just cooked potatoes.   I call any potato that is cooked and not eaten immediately, leftovers.  One of the reasons I do not like leftover stew if it contains potatoes.  Potatoes never taste the same as they do when 'just' cooked. 

 

~Ann

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As for myself, I like leftover potatoes, especially the semi-waxy or waxy ones.  Fingerlings too.  They become firmer and waxier, so to speak, which I like.  Its a texture thang.  Potatoes in a curry ("Indian"-type) taste better to me the next day, for example.  Freshly baked potatoes, the "fluffy" kind - eh, not a fan of them.  Even those eat better to me when left overnight...  Just my preferences.  Fries, OTOH, are much preferred fresh out of the fryer...and are best appreciated by me if they are not the fluffy-inside kind.  I can't say I particularly notice an "off" flavor in any of the cooked potatoes that have been left alone for a while or overnight.  It just tastes slightly different, and in my case as I've said I prefer the taste+texture of various kinds of potatoes when left alone for a while.

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Here's a list of 6 instances of mass solanine poisoning 1899 - 1983, including:

 

"In North Korea during the war years of 1952-1953, entire communities were forced to eat rotting potatoes. In one area alone, 382 people were affected, of whom 52 were hospitalized and 22 died. The most severe cases died of heart failure within 24 hours of potato consumption. Some of the less severe symptoms included irregular pulses, enlargement of the heart, and blueing lips and ears. Those who displayed these ailments died within 5 or 10 days."
 
IMO, avoiding greening potatoes matters.
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Here's a list of 6 instances of mass solanine poisoning 1899 - 1983, including:

 

"In North Korea during the war years of 1952-1953, entire communities were forced to eat rotting potatoes. In one area alone, 382 people were affected, of whom 52 were hospitalized and 22 died. The most severe cases died of heart failure within 24 hours of potato consumption. Some of the less severe symptoms included irregular pulses, enlargement of the heart, and blueing lips and ears. Those who displayed these ailments died within 5 or 10 days."

 

IMO, avoiding greening potatoes matters.

We should all avoid eating green potatoes. But we should also avoid suggesting that the starving people of Korea are the same as the normal people who have an adequate supply of food. Starving people are already very very health compromised. If they did not die of potato poisoning they most likely would have died of starvation. That is not to make light of their plight. But it's not quite the same thing as you or I choosing to eat or not eat a potato that is a little on the green side. The boys school incident shows what happens in institutions who are often attempting to cut corners both in cost for ingredients and in the labor needed to prepare those ingredients. Potatoes may have been the instrument of their illness but it probably was not the cause. I think we should all stick to discussions of food and leave medicine to other experts. Solanine poisoning is not rampant.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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