When we visit the produce section those baby potatoes are sitting there in their little plastic potato prisons, enticing us to remember the stories people used to tell, of creamed potatoes and peas on the 4th of July; of new potatoes just out of the ground. However, at upwards of $4 a box these little tubers are pretty pricey! So, the question is, should we spend our hard earned money on them? Are they worth it? A resounding Yes! Baby, or “new” potatoes are a superior braising or boiling potato.
Definitely buy the baby potatoes – – try the Yukon Golds – try them braised, or boiled plain and served whole with butter. You will not be sorry! Buy two boxes because you will want seconds.
Now, here’s a little useful information about potatoes in general:
If you go to spend the big bucks on tiny potatoes, make sure that they are not green – look at them closely and you may see that some potatoes have a green tinge to the skin. The green is due to the presence of solanine, which is a toxin. Potatoes form more solanine when they are exposed to light, which is why potatoes were stored in root cellars in the old days, and why they are often sold in opaque bags today. If you smell a very green potato, you will notice a bitter, grassy smell like that of weeds broken while gardening. This smell, and the green color, should alert you not to consume that potato. Solanine, in large enough quantities, can make you ill. So, avoid green potatoes.
Here’ the dictionary definition of solanine:
and here’s the chemical composition:
Now, you know more about potatoes than you used to!0