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Are my potatoes OK to eat?

by Terry Zeyha
(Spirit River Alberta)

We just dug up some fresh red potatoes and when I cut them in half they were red inside... like when you cut a purple potato and it has purple flesh. I've never seen a red potato without the nice white flesh inside. We've had an extremely wet year... Would they still be ok to eat? As well they had little white dots on the skin that scrubbed right off when I washed them. I sure hope they are ok... We have around a hundred hills and I'd hate to have them all go to waste.

Terry, Northern Alberta, Canada


Answer:

Hi Terry,

It feels so good when we grow our own potatoes! And of course, we can't wait to see how many potatoes we are going to find. But with all the expectations, there are also some "surprises". And when I say "surprises", I mean that there is the possibility to find potatoes to be a little different than expected.



As you mentioned, you were growing red potatoes. And to be more specific, you were growing a variety of red potatoes with a white flesh. The red potatoes, instead of a white flesh, had a reddish or pink flesh inside.

So here are the good news: Don't worry, your potatoes are fine! In fact, there are red potato varieties with a red or even a pink flesh. These varieties aren't common in grocery stores or supermarkets. And these varieties are not grown commercially either, precisely because people are used to see potatoes with a white flesh only. Red potatoes with a red flesh could easily be mistaken for "bad potatoes" if people aren't used to eat them. For example, the cranberry red potato is a potato with a red color inside and out. Sometimes, even red potatoes with white flesh can have some red strikes inside and that is normal, too.


How to know if potatoes are fine:

There are some ways to know if potatoes are fine and ready to cook or if the potato should be discarded:

1. If your potatoes are firm, with a tight skin, then it is ok. Remove any spot that is soft when touched.

2. If potatoes have unpleasant odors, throw them away.

3. If it has green spots, remove them immediately. If the potato is almost completely green, don't eat it.


If your red potatoes are firm, with no green spots, and no unpleasant odors, then there is absolutely nothing to be worried about.

Enjoy your red potatoes.

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