The Russet potato is the most popular baking potato but it is also a great choice when you're making mashed potatoes or french fries.
Scientific Binomial Name: Solanum tuberosum
Besides being the most popular baking potato, Russets are used when frying, mashing, roasting, and boiling. They're also used to make french fries.
Good-quality Russet potatoes will be firm, have a net-like texture to the skin and russet-brown coloring. Russets should have few eyes, and those few eyes should be shallow.
Do not wash raw Russet potatoes before storing - washing them speeds development of decay.
Store in a cool (40 - 50° F), dry, well ventilated, dark place to protect them from light exposure and to inhibit quick sprouts from growing. If your potatoes do begin to sprout or grow, cut off the sprouts. If you don't have good storage available, buy in smaller quantities and more often.
Do not refrigerate or freeze uncooked potatoes as this changes the potatoes' starch into sugar. This alters the taste of potatoes and causes the flesh to darken when cooked.
Avoid product that is soft, wrinkled, is sprouting at all, has cuts in the skin or is green-tinted.
Russet potatoes are available year-round.
Washington Russets are available from August through January.
Russet Potato Nutritional Information
Serving Size: 1 medium potato, raw (213g)
Amount Per Serving
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Source: PMA's Labeling Facts
Russet potatoes are Fat-free, Very low sodium, Source of fiber, High in vitamin C, Cholesterol-free. Russets have a high sugar content.
Potato Tips & Trivia
- Burbank Russet Potaotes were developed by Luther Burbank in the 1870's but he sold the rights to his potato in 1875.
- Prolonged exposure to light causes greening and makes the potato taste bitter. Peel or pare green area from the potato before using.
- The world's most important vegetable, the potato was first cultivated in the Andean region of South America by native Indian populations. Spanish explorers took the tuber back to Spain in the middle of the 16th Century, and from there it spread to the rest of Europe. The potato was promoted in Prussia by Fredrick the Great, frowned upon in Scotland (Presbyterians were concerned because the Bible failed to mention potatoes as a crop), and quickly adopted by the Irish as their primary food crop. How potatoes came to North America is the subject of several conflicting legends. One creditable source reports that some of the first plantings were those started in New Hampshire, from stock brought from Ireland.
- The present name for the potato came about as an accident, having derived from the Spanish "patata," meaning sweet potato.