Growing Tips

Potatoes - What Varieties to Grow For Flavour

What potato to grow?

There are around 500 varieties of potatoes available to the gardener to grow. Yes, that's right 500 varieties of potato. Finding all of them would be a bit of a task but the selections easily available will probably be more than you need anyway.

Why all this choice of potatoes?

One good reason, apart from growing habits and disease resistance, is taste.

Different potatoes taste differently. The supermarkets may offer you a choice beyond the simple White or Red nowadays but the home grower has a range of flavours far beyond that available in the shops.

The taste of the potato is not just a product of the variety; the type of soil and growing conditions will have an effect. I may enjoy one variety but it can taste quite different when grown on your soil.

Because of the water content and flesh structure, different potatoes cook differently. Some fry well, making great chips (or crisps - Golden Wonder is a potato variety), some boil well and some mash well. Waxy potatoes are better for salads than floury potatoes. The tables (click on Varieties) should give you some help on what to grow for what purpose. I have not covered all the varieties available but I think I've got the main ones that are readily available from both garden centres and specialist suppliers. You may find one variety appears in two or more sections as some potatoes are more multi-purpose than others.

Find out more on Potato Varieties & their qualities and Potato Blight