Fingerlink Potatoes
Fingerling potatoes in a rainbow of colors. Photo by Shag Photo | IST.



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MALLIKA RAO is an intern at THE NIBBLE.


November 2010
Updated September 2018

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Vegetables

Types Of Potato

Page 5: Potato Varieties & Dishes C To J


This is Page 5 of a seven-page article, types of potato from C to J. Click on the black links below to view other pages. Visit our many more food glossaries—for all of your favorite foods.


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Types Of Potato C To J



A popular snack dish in the U.S., cheese fries are French fries, drizzled with cheese (in restaurants, Velveeta is often used). Added toppings include bacon bits, chili and sour cream.


Chips are very thin slices of potato, usually deep-fried. They can also be baked.

Per the history of potato chips, they originated at a resort in Saratoga Springs, New York, where a patron repeatedly complained that his potatoes weren’t crisp enough. The frustrated chef sliced the potatoes paper-thin and fried them to a crisp.


They turned out to be a huge hit, and potato chips became America’s favorite snack food. Here’s a recipe to your own homemade potato chips.


Cheese fries: French fries covered with melted cheese and optional garnishes (scallions, parmesan, etc.). Photo by Deramaen Rama | Wikimedia.


The British word for chips. In the U.K., “chips” refers to fried potatoes (as in fish and chips, which is fried fish with French fries).


Croquettes are patties or cylinders of mashed potatoes, rolled in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. They can take other shapes as well: Tater Tots are a miniature form of croquette. Meat and vegetables can be added to the mashed potatoes. The concept originated in France, and the name comes from the French word croquer, “to crunch.”  There are meat, fish and veggie croquettes in addition to potato croquettes.


A variety that matures in the fall. Late-maturing potatoes mature in the spring.


  Potato Croquettes
Potato croquettes. Photo by Deramaen Rama | Wikimedia.

Fingerlings are small (2-4 inches in length), narrow and elongated like a finger. They are known for their smooth creaminess and delectable flavor. Fingerlings are low in starch and grow in a variety of colors, including red (Rose Fin Apple potato), purple-pink (French fingerling potato, with an interior ring of pink on the inside) and yellow (Russian Banana potato and Princess Laratte—see photo of varieties at top of page). Fingerling potatoes have a rich and nutty flavor and are ideal for roasting, boiling or steaming. They look charming on the plate and can be served halved with dipping sauce or sour cream dip as a fun appetizer. Fingerlings hold their shape well when cooked, and are also ideal for purées. Because of their unique shape and size, Fingerlings cook more quickly than traditional potatoes—typically less than 25 minutes.


  French Fingerling Potato
French Fingerling potatoes. Photo © Idaho Potato Commission.

Floury/starchy potatoes, such as russets, are lower in moisture (drier) and high in starch. Due to their low sugar content they tend to fall apart when boiled. Floury potatoes do not hold their shape well after cooking—think of the crumbly texture of a baked potato.


That’s why floury/starchy potatoes are easier to mash. Also use them for deep-frying  (French fries, potato pancakes). Examples include Idaho, russet and russet Burbank, as well as other varieties of russet potato).

  Russet Potatoes
Russets are the classic floury potato. Photo © Idaho Potato Commission.


Pronounced NYO-kee, these are potato dumplings served with a sauce. While made with potato instead of wheat flour, gnocchi are still considered pasta. The word “pasta” means paste, and gnocchi are made from a paste of potatoes.


Gnocchi are little bites, which can be made in flavored varieties: beet, pumpkin, squid ink, etc. There is no fillling: The flavors are in the dough itself.


Here’s a gnocchi recipe.

Homemade gnocchi. Photo courtesy Lidia Bastianich | Facebook.


These russet potatoes are round and golden in color—hence both “butter” and “ball.” The flesh is also buttery and a golden yellow, with a tender, flaky texture. These all-purpose potatoes are a versatile favorite for baking, frying and steaming. The German Butterball is an heirloom variety known as a “butterless” potato because the flavor is so buttery, you don’t need butter. The variety was introduced by David Ronniger of Moyie Springs, Idaho in 1988. It’s no relation to the Butterball family of poultry products.

  German Butterball Potato
German Butterball potatoes. Photo courtesy

An early to mid-season russet potato, Goldrush potatoes have smooth russet-colored skins and very bright white flesh with a fine flavor. Oblong to long in shape, the variety debuted in 1992 in North Dakota, bred for high yields and to avoid several growing problems including drought. This versatile spud is good baked, boiled or fried. It has a lavender flower, which makes the potato field even prettier.


The French version of shepherd’s pie, made with a white wine sauce instead of brown gravy.


  Goldrush Potato
Goldrush potatoes. Photo courtesy


The recipe was created at the famous Hasselbacken (“Hazel Hill”) restaurant in Stockholm’s Hasselbacken Hotel, an elegant edifice that opened in 1748. They are a favorite dish in Sweden, enjoyed for breakfast, appetizers, lunch and dinner sides, and snacks. The skin of the potatoes is usually kept on. Here’s more information and a recipe. Simply by making a series of deep parallel cuts along the top of the potato, it opens into this visually arresting fan. While it looks fancy-frilly, it takes little extra time over a standard baked potato: All you need are good potatoes and a sharp knife. Then, just slice, brush with butter and bake. The cooked potatoes have the crispy edges of French fries, and the soft, creamy middle of mashed potatoes. The thinner the slices, the better the end result.


A hasselback, or fan, potato. Photo courtesy


Hash browns are shredded or grated and pan-fried potatoes, often seasoned with onion. They are a popular breakfast food in North America, often served along with eggs and sausage or bacon. They’re also a favorite with steak. The more elegant Swiss version, served with a fine dinner, is called rosti (see photo). A shredded or grated potato mixture with an egg binder becomes a potato pancake, or latke.

Hash brown or potatoes. Photo courtesy Mortons The Steakhouse, which makes terrific hash browns.


An heirloom potato is one which has been grown consistently for decades or longer, maintaining its original characteristics with little or no change from the original.

Many of these are not commercially productive, with low yields or susceptibility to disease. Growers have turned to more profitable varieties.

Like other heirloom vegetables, these old potato varieties have been preserved over time by small farmers and home gardeners who appreciate their subtle differences in size, shape, color and flavor. They are also preserved by societies and universities for genetic diversity.

Heirloom potato varieties. Photo © Idaho Potato Commission.

A russet potato grown in Iowa. Russets are extensively planted in Idaho and supply about 25% of the nation’s potato supply. The Idaho Potato Commission has worked hard to develop a consumer preference for potatoes from Idaho.


The russet potato is essentially the same potato, grown in a different environment. See Russet Burbank potato.

  Idaho Potatoes
The classic Idaho potato. Photo © Idaho Potato Commission.


The skin of the potato.


A baked potato, so-called because its jacket (skin) is left on while baking. See baked potato.




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  Jacket Potato
A jacket potato, one that is baked with the skin on. Photo courtesy Lifestyle Food.

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