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Produce Spotlight on Potatoes

Potatoes, a root vegetable and starchy member of the nightshade family, are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin B, potassium, and fiber. 


Shopping for Potatoes

Select firm, smooth, unbruised potatoes. Avoid potatoes that are starting to shrivel or sprout or with greenish skin. Massachusetts-grown potatoes are available from mid-July through the following May and can be found at farmers’ markets and farmstands. Frozen (fries, hash browns), canned, and dehydrated (flakes and granules) potatoes are also available.


Common Types

New – freshly harvested potatoes of any variety; tender and sweet.

Russet – medium to large size with brown skin. Good for mashed or baked potatoes and fries.

Round Red – small to medium size with red skin; sweet flavor. Suitable for boiling, roasting, salads, soups, and stews.

White – small to medium size with cream-colored skin. Suitable for frying, boiling, or roasting; good for potato chips.

Yellow – small to large size with golden skin and flesh; circular or oval all-purpose potato.


Storage and Preparation

  • Store potatoes in perforated plastic or paper bags in a cool, dry, dark, well-ventilated place, away from onions and fruits; do not refrigerate. Use new potatoes within 1 week and other potatoes within 2 weeks.
  • Scrub potatoes under cool running water. Leave skin on when possible. Remove deep eyes, sprouts, and green spots. Peeled potatoes turn dark if not cooked soon.
  • Refrigerate cooked potatoes in a covered container for up to 5 days.


Serving Ideas

  • To microwave, pierce whole potatoes with a fork. Cook on high for 5 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time; let stand 5 minutes.
  • For baked potatoes, pierce skin  with a fork and bake for 45 minutes at 400º F.
  • Top potatoes with low-fat cottage cheese or cheddar cheese, broccoli, or salsa.
  • Make fries by roasting potato strips with olive oil.


Potato Math

1 pound potatoes =

3 medium (about 5 ounces) =

2¼ cup diced or sliced =

1¾ cups mashed =

2 cups fries


Using Locally Grown Produce

For recipes featuring fruits and vegetables, visit our website To locate places to buy local produce, visit


Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 medium potato; Calories: 163; Carbohydrates: 37 g; Fiber: 4.7g; Fat: 0.2g; Saturated fat: 0.1g; Sodium: 13mg