Idaho® Potatoes Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Difference Between Idaho® Potatoes and Russets?
- How do I know I’m buying Idaho potatoes?
- I purchased Idaho potatoes and they looked good but it turns out they were rotten on the inside, why did this happen?
- Why are my potatoes turning green?
- Can I cook Idaho potatoes in the microwave?
- What is the difference between No. 1 and No. 2 Potatoes?
- When does the Idaho® potato “planting” and “harvesting” season officially begin and end?
What is the Difference Between Idaho® Potatoes and Russets?
Russet potatoes are grown in many places. Only potatoes actually grown in Idaho are called Idaho® potatoes. Several conditions found in Idaho make it the perfect place to grow the perfect potatoes. Our irrigation, volcanic soil and ideal climate make Idaho the premier location and only place to find Idaho® potatoes.
“Idaho® potato” and the “Grown in Idaho®” are federally registered and belong to the Idaho Potato Commission. When you purchase potatoes with these marks, you are assured the potatoes are grown in the state of Idaho.
These trademarks are actively protected by the Idaho Potato Commission.
Russet is the most well known but not the only potato grown in Idaho. There are over 25 other varieties included under the Idaho® potato trademark.
How do I know I’m buying Idaho potatoes?
Look for the “Grown In Idaho” seal. It’s distinct shape of Idaho along with the registered certification mark, “Idaho Potatoes.”
Our potatoes are rounded, elongated, shallow eyes, net-textured skin with a deep brown color. Be aware of clean, smooth, firm potentates free of cuts, bruises or poor coloring.
If the potatoes are soft with excessive cuts, cracks or bruises, stay away from them. Pare green spotted potatoes before cooking to remove bitter flavor.
I purchased Idaho potatoes and they looked good but it turns out they were rotten on the inside, why did this happen?
One reason for Idaho’s reputation for exceptional potatoes is the inspection process before any leave the state. If any question to the quality of the potatoes, they are inspected when the potatoes are received by the retailer by the US Department of Agriculture. After delivery, the shipper has no control of their potatoes.
If a retailer has old stock on their shelves, the consumer only need return the produce to the store and voice their dissatisfaction. The retailer will replace or refund the purchase.
Why are my potatoes turning green?
Green coloration sometimes found on potatoes is the cause of having been exposed to natural, artificial, or fluorescent lighting. It can also be caused by exposure to sunlight during the growing process. Usually, these potatoes are discovered before every reaching the customer.
With retailers extended hours these days, greening is more common. Consumers can avoid this by keeping potatoes out of direct light.
Chlorophyll in the potatoes develops in the skin and an increase in quantities of solanin is also formed. Solanin is what gives a potato it’s flavor. The solanin is concentrated near the surface and is easily removed by peeling. Only extensive exposure to light causes a bitter tasted to penetrate deeply into the potato.
Peel off any green coloration to remove any bitter taste.
Can I cook Idaho potatoes in the microwave?
Interestingly many claim cooking a potato in a microwave produces a more nutritious potato due to the reduced time exposed to nutrient robbing heat.
Scrub, dry then prick the potato with a fork. Then wrap the potato in a paper towel. Follow the directions of your microwave on cooking a potato. Turn once during cooking. Don’t exceed the cook time because the potato will actually continue to cook once removed from the microwave.
A good tip for cooking in the microwave is to place your potatoes in the oven for 15 minutes. Then put in the microwave. This gives the potato a dry crispy oven cooked feel and taste with the speed of using a microwave.
What is the difference between No. 1 and No. 2 Potatoes?
No. 1 potatoes have a better shape with fewer imperfections than a No. 2 potato. No. 2 potatoes bake and taste the same but may not look as nice as a No.1. When the presentation of the potato is unimportant like in French fries, mashed potatoes or hash browns, restaurants will use a No. 2 potato.
When does the Idaho® potato “planting” and “harvesting” season officially begin and end?
Planting in Idaho may begin as early as the first of April and continues well into May. However, the majority of planting occurs the end of April and the first two weeks of May. Warmer locations in Idaho plant earlier but not as heavily as cooler parts of the state. Harvest begins in September and continues through October. Most harvesting occurs the last two weeks of September and the first two of October.