True story: I never met a tater I didn't like. The end.
Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! Well, it really is true! I love potatoes. You can mash them, cream them, boil, broil, or bake them! I really don't care, so long as you put them on my plate. I suppose lots of people share my affinity for this unassuming tuber because potatoes are a global staple item. A large portion of the world's population depends on potatoes as one of their main carbohydrates; they are easy to grow, have a high crop yield, they're cheap, and they are delicious. Winner winner, potato dinner!! And lets face it--potatoes are pretty easy and forgiving to cook. You just have to know a few guidelines such as starch content and the best cooking method for the particular variety of potato you intend to cook. Take a look at this chart:
High-starch content: Russet, Idaho, and Yukon Gold's
These potatoes are generally oblong in shape, with a thick skin. They basically fall apart when you cook them which is why they whip up so easily into light & fluffy mashed potatoes, and it's why they are ideal for baking and for frying.
Medium-starch content: Round White & Yellow's
These are pretty much considered an all-purpose potato. They are commonly sold in bulk bags at the grocery store. They cook up well regardless of method: roasted, grilled, mashed or boiled.
Low-starch/waxy: Round Red's, New Potatoes, and Fingerlings
These potatoes tend to be smaller than other varieties--very compact with thin skins. They hold together well when boiled which makes this type of potato great for potato salad, soups, and stews. The interior has an almost waxy consistency that make them unpopular for frying.
Sweet potatoes are a HIGH-STARCH potato, and get this: they are NOT related to other potatoes even though both varieties originated in Central & South America. "Regular" potatoes likes Russets, Fingerlings, and Yellows are all members of the 'Nightshade' family. This family of plants contain alkaloid and protein toxins, but only in very high concentrations--so they won't kill you but some people do have gut issues from nightshade sensitivity. The toxins can prevent your intestines from absorbing nutrients. Other Nightshades include tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. Dang it!! Tomatoes!!??? Jeez---just think, people with this sensitivity can't have salsa, ketchup, or French fries. You'd just need to shoot me because I wouldn't be fit company!!
Sweet Potatoes belong to the 'Morning Glory' family of plants and contain no toxins. The actual plant part grows as a vine while regular potatoes produce a bush-like plant. Even though they are considered high-starch(in other words, they contain a lot of sugar) sweet potatoes are in the top 5 list of healthy carbohydrates along with bananas, buckwheat, oats, and quinoa.
Yams are in a boat by themselves---they are in no way related to potatoes at all. Yams are a totally different vegetable. While they share some similarities like being very nutritious and being a tuber, yams originated in Africa!! But---you can make a tasty pie out of a yam and a sweet potato so there's not much else to say about that. Just eat them, ok, because they are both delicious.
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