We've been enjoying potatoes since the late 16th century when Spanish conquistadors brought them back from Peru.
There are three main types, named according to when you plant and harvest them: first earlies, second earlies and maincrop. Depending on where you live, you can plant potatoes as early as March (under fleece) and can be harvested from June onwards. It's a good idea to chit potatoes six weeks before planting them out.
If you think that one potato tastes like another, you're very much mistaken. Not only is there a wide variation in flavour and skin colour, but also in texture. Different textures suit different cooking methods and recipes.
Waxy potatoes stay firm when cooked and have a slightly sticky consistency. They're great for salads or simply steamed with a knob of butter. Steaming holds the flesh together far better than boiling and keeps the flavour intact.
Floury potatoes contain more starch and tend to crumble when cooked, making them perfect for hearty stews and for fluffy roast and jacket potatoes.
Learn about each of the three potato types, and how to grow them, below.
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