This is not a recipe for baked yellow potato skins covered in sour cream, cheese, vegetables and bacon. This is about a personal discovery I had in my garden.
Maine is a potato growing state therefore we take our potatoes a little more seriously. I prefer the yellow potatoes. They have the same brown skins of most potatoes but inside they are a yellowish gold. Imagine a potato that once cooked and mashed, looks like you already added butter.
I chose to plant yellow potatoes in my garden this year. This morning I harvested the earthy gems. As I washed off the soil, I noticed some had smooth skins while others had rough. Why? If there were all the same, why was there a difference in the skin texture. Was this one of those female and male plant things? I didn’t think so because the potato is the “fruit” of the plant. Perhaps it was because some were planted at one end of the garden and the rest at the opposite end? No, I don’t think the soil would be that different in a short distance apart.
So what was the answer? A little research uncovered the fact that in my area there are two types of yellow potatoes. Yukon Gold and Katahdin.
The Yukon Gold, an all-purpose potato has a golden interior with rough brown skin. These are great mashed, boiled, in salads, fried and the best for soups and chowders. Yukon gold potatoes are the result of crossbreeding a North American white potato with a wild South American yellow-fleshed variety. These originated in Canada and made its way to the U.S. in the early 1980s.
The Katahdin is also an all-purpose potato. This is a smooth skinned potato with tan skin and yellowish flesh. These are ones I knew and thought I had planted. Katahdin potatoes are your French fry potatoes. They have that classic potato flavor. They’re fluffy, creamy, smooth and soft, and best for boiling, baking and, most importantly, making French fries. They’re not great for potato salads, gratins potatoes or any dish that requires the potatoes to hold their shape.
Obviously, I had planted two different types of yellow potatoes. You are never too old to learn something new. Now I know a little more about yellow potato skins.