Gardening Articles: Health :: Cooking

Fingerling Potatoes (page 2 of 3)

by Charlie Nardozzi

Varieties with Waxy, Moist Flesh

Austrian Crescent': The skin is tan, smooth, and firm; the flesh is light yellow. This variety produces plentiful 2- by 10-inch tubers. Sometimes the skin is bitter, so peel and steam, or serve chilled in salads.

'French Fingerling': Silky-smooth, cranberry-red skin covers moist yellow flesh marbled with red, especially just under the skin. The 11/2- by 3-inch-long tubers look as good as they taste. Best steamed or roasted.

'Rose Finn Apple': Smooth, rose-colored skin and deep yellow flesh make this one of the most attractive and delicious fingerlings. Best eaten baked or steamed.

'Ruby Crescent': Ruby-skinned and yellow-fleshed tubers are 1 inch by 3 inches and often knobby (which makes cleaning more difficult). About a quarter of the tubers produced by the vigorous plants have knobby, short growths on the main tuber. These fingerlings are best roasted.

'Russian Banana': Yellow-skinned, yellow-fleshed, and medium-sized tubers produced in a quantity rivaling Austrian Crescent's make this one of the most popular fingerlings. Russian Banana tubers measure 1 inch by 3 inches. Along with perhaps French Fingerling, this variety is the one you'll most likely find served in restaurants. Best baked, steamed, or in salads.

Varieties with Mealy, Dry Flesh

'Butterfinger': The skin is slightly rough and brown, and flesh is yellow. Full-sized tubers are about 1 inch by 21/2 inches. The flesh stays firm when cooked, making this fingerling perfect for salads and steaming. This variety may also be sold as Swedish Peanut. Stores well.

'Ozette': Yellow-skinned and yellow-fleshed tubers have deeply set eyes that spiral around the 2- by 3-inch tuber. Best roasted. This one is named for the Ozette Indian tribe of the Olympic Peninsula who adapted the variety from potatoes brought by Spanish explorers. Ozette may also be sold or listed under the alternate names Haida or Kasaan.

'Purple Peruvian': Uniquely purple skin and flesh are perhaps this fingerling's best features. The tubers measure 3/4 by 2 inches. The plant is less productive than most fingerlings. Best mashed or baked.

'Red Thumb': Smooth and easily cleaned red skin and red flesh make this 1- by 2-inch tuber highly appealing. The plant is very productive. This variety is best when roasted.

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