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New Potato or Not?

Fine Cooking Issue 70

Red potatoes, especially small ones, are often labeled in the supermarket as “new potatoes” but chances are they aren’t new potatoes at all. Technically, a new potato is harvested from the potato vines while the leaves are still green. At this stage, the immature potatoes are thin-skinned and haven’t developed their full complement of starch. So regardless of their variety, new potatoes are low in starch and high in moisture, even if they’re actually a high-starch variety. (For more on potatoes and starch content, see The right potato for every recipe.) Since mature red potatoes and new potatoes are both low starch, they can be used interchangeably and, subsequently, the term “new potato” is used quite loosely.

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