Potato is an important staple crop in many parts of the world. It is among world’s largest food crops, after rice, wheat and maize. It has been an integral part of the world’s cuisine since many centuries. It has a tendency to grow wildly, without much cultivation and precision. It was domesticated for the first time in Peru and Bolivia, during 8000 and 5000 BCE. It was in approximately 1570 that the first potato traveled from the Atlantic to Europe. It was initially not given much importance and was considered as the food for the poor class of the society. In the long span of three decades, potato was finally spread throughout the region of Europe. It first became very popular in Ireland for its qualities of being rugged, durable and nutritious food crop. It was known by then that potatoes contain most of the vitamins crucial for sustenance. With selective breeding, there are more than a thousand varieties of potatoes. The annual consumption of potatoes of an individual is 33 kg. China is the largest producer of potatoes in the world and almost a third of the world’s potatoes come from China and India. Potato is an herbaceous plant that lives approx. for two years. It has white, pink, blue, red or purple flowers with yellow stamen. Potato plant is cross pollinated by insects. After the plant’s flowering, a green fruit is produced which contains up to 300 seeds. There are approximately five thousand cultivated varieties of potatoes and over two hundred wild varieties, all over the world. Potato is cultivated without much hassle and it can adapt to mostly all kinds of climate. But, its storage is tricky as it is vulnerable to molds, resulting into its rotting. With so many different varieties of potatoes in the world, special varieties are cultivated because of their global acceptance, due to their special agricultural and culinary attributes. These varieties are differentiated into groups, like: russets, yellows, reds, whites and purples. Varieties are also set apart according to the waxiness of the potato. The European Cultivated Potato Database (ECPD) is collaboration 13 European Union and east European countries. It is an online database of varieties of potatoes; here you can find the variety of potatoes, their characteristics, origin, etc. In this article, we will study some of the famous varieties of potatoes.
Different Types Of Potatoes
This potato is white, yellow and sometimes blue in color. It is known to the human race since 19th century. It is oval in shape and can be resembled to an almond; therefore it is called almond potato. It is mostly found in the northern region of Norway and Sweden. It is cultivated only in the northern region of these countries only because it is vulnerable to diseases in the south.
Adirondack Blue Potato
This potato was invented by the Cornell University; it is a hybrid potato. Both the skin and the flesh of this particular potato is colored and considered a good variety for mashing, boiling and baking. It is also good for making chips. Its stem and leaves are basically in green color but has a bluish tint. The flower of this potato is white in color while its tuber is round-ish in shape. Adirondack Blue potato is susceptible to diseases like silver scurf, pink rot, late blight, common scab, etc.
Agricultural Research Services, Beltsville, MD, developed this chipping potato variety called Atlantic. This variety is a hybrid cross between Wauseon and Lanape varieties. Its market demand is comparatively high and it is fit for short term storage. It is best fit for making potato chips. It has great resistance to Potato virus X, but is susceptible to Potato virus Y.
It is a potato variety from Franconia. It is waxy but is in crooked shape. Its flesh is yellow in color and it has a nutty aroma. It is found mostly in Southern Germany. Its cultivation is a tedious process and production is quite low comparatively. This is the main reason why its cultivation has been going down. Also, its cultivation can not be done with the help of machines. Bamberg potatoes can only be bought from special traders and organic farmers.
Archibald Finlay invented the variety of British Queen potatoes. It is quite suitable for baking, boiling, chipping and roasting. It is oval in shape and has pale skin color. The eyes of this potato are pink tinged and it has a great flavor with flowery flesh.
This potato was first bred in the Netherlands in 1904. It is used for boiling, baking, chipping and making French fries. It has yellow shaped tubers and yellow skin with yellow flesh. Its plant is erect and medium in size, with purple stem and dark green leaves. Its yield is very high and it is popularly grown in Europe and North America.
This potato was initially bred in Netherlands in 1962. It has a high resistance to drought, which is why it is famous among allotment holders. It is a waxy variety with a distinctive flavor. It can be consumed in many ways, from mashed form to salads and roasting. It has numerous stems which are purple in color and leaves that are rigid and arched. It has red-violet fading to white flowers.
French Fingerling Potato
It is a late maturing potato variety. It can be stored and has a high resistance to scabs and leaf hoppers. It is a tall plant and its tubers are large in size. It has dark red rose skin color while the flesh is waxy textured and yellow in color.
Golden Wonder Potato
It is a russet skin potato variety. It was first found in the UK, specifically in Scotland in 1906. Its dry and floury characteristic makes it fit for baking, roasting and frying. But, it is unfit for boiling because in high temperature water it disintegrates. This kind of potato is highly resistant to slugs and blight but its yield is not very high. The crisp company Golden Wonder took its name from this variety of potato.
This variety is mainly found in Ireland. Its yield is not very high, but is also not very low. Its flesh is white in color and is susceptible to diseases like blight and powdery scab.
It is Ireland’s most famous variety of potatoes. It is red skin colored potato, slightly duller in color than the Desiree potato. It has floury, yellow colored flesh. It was at the Teagasc Oak Park Research Centre, Carlow that it was cultivated for the first time.
Russet Burbank Potato
It was first developed in Lunenburg, Massachusetts in 1870 by Luther Burbank. Later, a natural descendent of Burbank potato was named Russet Burbank potato, as it has russetted skin. It is famously used by the fast food chains for making French fries. It has high levels of antioxidants. Herr’s Russet Kettle Chips are produced from the Russet Burbank potatoes.
Other varieties are: Marcy, Irish Lumper, Record, Ranger Russet, Shepody, Silverton Russet, Selma, Alpine Russet, Bildtstar, Kerr’s Pink, Kennebec, Flava, Chiloe, Cara, Nicola, Keuka Gold, Blue Congo, Vivaldi, Yellow Finn, Lady Balfour, Sirco, etc.