General Information About the Potato

Appears in
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine

By French Culinary Institute

Published 2021

  • About

Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are tubers that form on underground vines developed from seed potatoes, small pieces of the previous year’s crop. Composed mostly of water but rich in carbohydrates, potassium, and nitrogen, potatoes are an important cultivar throughout the world. They thrive in moist, volcanic soil where temperatures range in the sunny 60s during the day and drop precipitously during the night. Now quite blight resistant, potatoes come in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. Their flesh can be white, ivory, yellow, pink, red, purple, or blue; their skin (which holds the primary nutritional components) can be smooth, rough, pebbly, or even slightly scratchy; their shape can be elongated, oval, or round; they can be as tiny as a marble or weighty as a pound.