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Wanted: potatoes suitable for potato salad


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Recently I started a topic in Cooking: Mushy Red Potatoes in Potato Salad.   Ed had purchased red potatoes...exactly what is called for in potato salad...under the brand "Farmers' Market" and they were incredibly mushy, even when cooked for under ten minutes.  Not just mushy on the surface...which can happen easily (for me) when I don't catch the potatoes exactly when they are just right...but mushy through and through.  Ugh.  ElsieD reported also using this brand and being disappointed in them. 

 

What I need now is to be steered to a suitable brand name, available in Ontario, which someone has used recently to make a non-mushy potato salad.  Thanks. 

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

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25 minutes ago, Darienne said:

Recently I started a topic in Cooking: Mushy Red Potatoes in Potato Salad.   Ed had purchased red potatoes...exactly what is called for in potato salad...under the brand "Farmers' Market" and they were incredibly mushy, even when cooked for under ten minutes.  Not just mushy on the surface...which can happen easily (for me) when I don't catch the potatoes exactly when they are just right...but mushy through and through.  Ugh.  ElsieD reported also using this brand and being disappointed in them. 

 

What I need now is to be steered to a suitable brand name, available in Ontario, which someone has used recently to make a non-mushy potato salad.  Thanks. 

Yukon gold or red potatoes stay firm.

 

Russets have a narrow window between firm and mealy. I avoid them

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A mushy potato just won't do, I agree. My preference for potato salad is one that still has a bite. And when you cut into it there is no "ragged" edge. In the winter I find yukon golds are the most reliable and most flavorful. In the summer when the fingerlings are happening at the farmers' markets I like to use some variety of red potato. My favorite is the simple French fingerling, since it has the texture and taste I look for, but others have proved interesting too.

 

But for most purposes I like yukon golds: Winter salads, fritters, in soups, roasted with duck fat, Potatoes Anna. For latkes I actually like a combo of russets and golds. 

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@gfweb:  they WERE red potatoes.  That's the problem.

@Katie Meadow:  but I am looking for an Ontario brand name to use.

 

I'm still looking for a brand name available in Ontario.

 

I've started researching the Loblaws brand name 'Farmer's Market/Délices du Marché'.  I have a package of coloured peppers in front of me with the information I need.  And sad to say...yesterday I made our favourite cucumber salad with Farmer's Market cucumbers and was stunned at how wet the cucumbers were.  The recipe calls for 1 cup each of water, vinegar and sugar.  I put NO water at all into the mix and still the liquid sitting in the mixing bowl was amazing.  I'm wondering if the brand is similar to the 'No Name' brand, also a Loblaws brand, mostly canned items, which we don't use at all.  Many of the items are just not to our liking.  

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Thursday and reporting back.  I was quite disappointed that no Ontarians got back to me with a decent potato salad potato.  However, Ed bought some red potatoes in FreshCo, unpackaged, red skins with white flesh, alas he didn't check to see the geographical source for said potatoes, and lo and behold!  today we have delicious proper potato salad.  Still, we are back in business.

 

The rest of the 'spurious' red potatoes will go into potato soup. 

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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4 minutes ago, Darienne said:

Thursday and reporting back.  I was quite disappointed that no Ontarians got back to me with a decent potato salad potato.  However, Ed bought some red potatoes in FreshCo, unpackaged, red skins with white flesh, alas he didn't check to see the geographical source for said potatoes, and lo and behold!  today we have delicious proper potato salad.  Still, we are back in business.

 

The rest of the 'spurious' red potatoes will go into potato soup. 

 

I never make potato salad.  John does not like potatoes generally and potato salad specifically.  I love them but we seldom have them.  That is a sad but true story.

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57 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

 

I never make potato salad.  John does not like potatoes generally and potato salad specifically.  I love them but we seldom have them.  That is a sad but true story.

That really is sad.  Life without potatoes...cannot imagine it.   No French Fries?  Inconceivable!!

 

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

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57 minutes ago, Darienne said:

That really is sad.  Life without potatoes...cannot imagine it.   No French Fries?  Inconceivable!!

 

 

When I said "generally" that does not include French fries but only if they are the skinny ones.  He will occasionally eat them when we haven't had them for a while as he knows I like them and as long as they aren't mashed.  Meanwhile, I have come to tolerate rice.

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5 hours ago, Darienne said:

Thursday and reporting back.  I was quite disappointed that no Ontarians got back to me with a decent potato salad potato.  However, Ed bought some red potatoes in FreshCo, unpackaged, red skins with white flesh, alas he didn't check to see the geographical source for said potatoes, and lo and behold!  today we have delicious proper potato salad.  Still, we are back in business.

 

The rest of the 'spurious' red potatoes will go into potato soup. 

 

I think it's tough to identify a specific variety sometimes. I know here in BC, a lot of the potatoes I buy may be identified as grown in BC but lack any specific varietal information. The exception is the Warba nugget potato, which many people here are MAD about, there's a buying frenzy when they first come out in May. They are my favourite potato for several kinds of potato salads. They are a very early potato and I think they are grown in Ontario also? I'm not finding a specific answer to that online, maybe you can ask around or check online yourself if you think you might be interested in them. 

 

We have a couple of farms right here in the Comox Valley that grow Warbas and the farm markets are very busy when they first show up, sometimes as early as early May or a couple of weeks later in a cooler Spring. In Ontario I would guess maybe in June? They are usually available for a couple of months but the earlier, the tastier! 

 

They aren't storage potatoes, they need to be kept in the fridge and should be eaten fairly soon. I like to steam or steam-roast them in the CSO. I like my potatoes in potato salad to be firm so I don't overcook them. But everyone is different in terms of their preferences. What I love is different from someone who likes a softer potato. 

 

If you do a search on eGullet for Warba, you will see a few posts where I have photos of the Warbas and some salads I made with them. Here's a standard potato salad, for example. (you'll have to scroll down) Here's another one with beets.  One more, a warm salad with tomatoes and feta and green beans. Ha, now you don't have to search. 🙂

 

Sorry to go on about the Warbas, but they are one of our fave Spring foods! I hope you can find them in Ontario. If you do, please let me know, OK? 

 

(Also, I hope you get vaccinated soon, I think you said you are eligible now!) 

 

Edited to add: Somewhere it said Warba potatoes are similar to Jersey Royal potatoes or they serve a similar role to people in BC, @liuzhou, are you familiar with those? How would you describe them? 

 

Edited by FauxPas
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3 hours ago, FauxPas said:

Somewhere it said Warba potatoes are similar to Jersey Royal potatoes or they serve a similar role to people in BC, @liuzhou, are you familiar with those? How would you describe them? 

 

Are you sure you wanted to direct the question at me?

I know nothing about Warba potatoes and  have never contributed to this discussion. We only get one type of potato here. Not a good one.

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)

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2 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

Are you sure you wnted to direct the question at me?

I know nothing about Warba potatoes and  have never contributed to this discussion. We only get one type of potato here. Not a good one.

 

 

The question was about Jersey Royals, which are purportedly the UK equivalent to the Warbas in some ways. Though they don't look the same, maybe it's just that people really love them for whatever reasons. 

 

I was wondering if you were familiar with them? I know you haven't lived in the UK for some time, so apologies if this is a silly question. 

 

Quote

The Jersey Royal new potato is the only potato that carries the EU Protected Designation of Origin mark of authenticity.

https://www.jerseyroyal.co.uk/

 

 

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6 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

I was wondering if you were familiar with them? I know you haven't lived in the UK for some time, so apologies if this is a silly question. 

 

Not a silly question. I was just confused as to why I was suddenly an authority on potatoes!

I have eaten Jersey Royals, but as you note, a very long time ago. Maybe 50 years! I remember them being special, but can't really elucidate beyond that. Sorry.

 

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I lke Red Bliss for PS .  but Ive made it w Russets

 

indeed , there is a narrow window for the russets.

 

Im not a fan of Yukon Gold.

 

they have exceptional PR and a Brand thus they are over priced.

 

chefs that still extoll browning meat to ' seal in the juices '

 

moan ecstatically that YG have a buttery taste.  they don't on my palate.

 

take a sniff of the potatoes at room temp before you use them,   musty potatoes 

 

may have been stored , properly or improperly for too long.

 

also giver them a discrete squeeze .  if not firm , walk on by.

 

if you have an iPot , pressure steam your Pot's  .  flavor stays in the potato

 

not the water.

 

where the potato was grown is fairly important .

 

PEI potatoes have far less flavor than potatoes grown elsewhere 

 

as its possible the soil is depleted and they are grown with some from of

 

flavorless chemical fertilizer

 

Idaho is a name to look for , for Russets.   Not so much Ore-Ida , as you are paying a lot

 

for advertising.  just from Idaho 

 

why ?  white some time ago there was a volcanic eruption W of Idaho

 

and Idaho got a lot of Ash.   tasty-er potatoes are the result.

 

a quick , discrete sniff , if loose , or even more discrete sniff of the bag of potatoes

 

( most bags have holes in them to dissipate moisture )

 

will give you a good idea of what your getting

 

earthy smell ?  fine, nice

 

overly musty , not so fine.

 

potatoes , along w eggs , are a gift from God.

 

try a genuine Tortilla Espanola.

 

esp the next day at room temo

 

ingredients for the T.Es. are Potatoes , onions , eggs , salt and olive oil

 

stop right there.  anything else will degrade the experience .

 

Veg , other stuff ?  OK if you like that

 

but the result is no longer King and Queen of the Potato Hill.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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Most of the gold potatoes out there aren't actually Yukons. And @rotuts
is right. No buttery taste. But they are reliably textured and just about never musty. I rely on them for most uses. Fry well, mash well, pot salad well.

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I actually like russet potatoes (peeled) in a Japanese-style potato salad. I don't mind the corners and edges breaking down.

 

I've been having good luck with gold potatoes (for other uses). My normal store sells the gold potatoes from a bulk bin (labeled "gold," not claiming to be "Yukon gold"). I could probably inquire about the brand. @Darienne, if you're interested, LMK, and I'll ask about the brand of these bulk gold potatoes.

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12 hours ago, liuzhou said:

I have eaten Jersey Royals, but as you note, a very long time ago. Maybe 50 years! I remember them being special, but can't really elucidate beyond that. Sorry.

I too have had Jersey Royals once in my life. It was not in England but in Denmark. It was the first time I understood why people might like potatoes! But I know that recently my sister who still lives in England has complained that they are not what they used to be. Is anything?

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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lets think about the Skin

 

on the potato

 

Its there

 

it has immense flavor

 

so wy peel it off ?

 

you might clean it of

 

take outage few '' divots ""

 

but in leaving it on

 

for every prep you are doing

 

so much  more potato flavor

 

 

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3 hours ago, Anna N said:

I too have had Jersey Royals once in my life. It was not in England but in Denmark. It was the first time I understood why people might like potatoes! But I know that recently my sister who still lives in England has complained that they are not what they used to be. Is anything?

 

You don't like potatoes?

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On 3/19/2021 at 5:25 PM, ElsieD said:

 

You don't like potatoes?

I used to dislike potatoes immensely. It had much more to do with the need to peel them as with anything else. That was in the days before we realized we were tossing away the best part of the potato when we peeled them all. Now I can thoroughly enjoy a potato but nothing will ever measure up to my memory of those jersey Royals. 

Edited by Anna N
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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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On 3/19/2021 at 11:26 AM, rotuts said:

lets think about the Skin

 

on the potato

 

Its there

 

it has immense flavor

 

so wy peel it off ?

 

you might clean it of

 

take outage few '' divots ""

 

but in leaving it on

 

for every prep you are doing

 

so much  more potato flavor

 

 

The only time I peel potatoes is for mash.    It stays on for fries, baked, salad, casseroles.    Husband married me because I never finished my steak; I married him because he leaves his baked potato skin.

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@Margaret Pilgrim 

 

next time you make Mash

 

consider pressure stemming them

 

more potato flavor stays in the potato 

 

not the water

 

and don't peel them.

 

I think you can taste the difference

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11 minutes ago, rotuts said:

@Margaret Pilgrim 

 

next time you make Mash

 

consider pressure stemming them

 

more potato flavor stays in the potato 

 

not the water

 

and don't peel them.

 

I think you can taste the difference

I don't have any form of pressure apparatus.   I steam potatoes for mash, and peel them only because peel jams the ricer.    But it sounds excellent.

 

eGullet member #80.

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@Margaret Pilgrim 

 

interesting points.

 

I used to use a ricer , but ...

 

now I use a hand masher 

 

to my hand held electric mixer 

 

and smoosh the potatoes first 

 

with the beater blades , let the pre-mash dry out a bit 

 

on low heat , then add the butter first , 

 

mix a bit w the HandHeld , then 

 

add the hot milk slowly to get the consistency 

 

I want.

 

do you add a tiny bit of fresh

 

finely ground Nutmeg ?  fine micro-planed after discarding

 

yjr surface bit ?

 

just a touch ?  not too much to rally notice

 

but enough to wonder what the subtle flavor is ?

 

Mashed potatoes are a gift from God.

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