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Storing Potatoes


I don’t have a cellar, so what’s the best place to store potatoes? I’ve heard they should be kept separate from onions—is this true?

Jessica Sanders, Amherst, MA


Potatoes keep best in a cool, dark spot where air can circulate. The ideal temperature is 45º to 50ºF; to try to come close to this, I store potatoes in open brown paper bags (so air can circulate) in the back of a closet that’s on an outside wall. You could also use burlap bags or an open bin, but don’t use plastic bags. Keep potatoes out of the light and out of the refrigerator—light encourages the development of solanine (see the question below), and cold will convert the starch to sugar. According to the Idaho Potato Commission, potatoes and onions release gases that interact and make each spoil more quickly, so store them separately.

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