A brown skinned, oblong potato with a white interior, which is one of the most popular potatoes. It has a rough skin with numerous eyes and can grow quite large. The russet is low in moisture and high in starch, making it good for baking, boiling and making French fries but not home fries made in a skillet. Referred to as an old potato or a baking potato, there are two common varieties of Russet potatoes available. The most popular variety is the Russet Burbank, which has an oblong shape and medium skin that is light brown in color. It has a white flesh, which bakes up light and fluffy. Another variety is the Russet Norkotah. It is also oblong in shape but has a heavier skin that is more appealing in appearance. It is not as light and fluffy when baked as the Burbank. Russet potatoes are available throughout the year.
When selecting, choose those that are firm and plump, avoiding those that have shriveled skins, sprouting eyes, soft spots, blemishes and green spots. Store potatoes in a cool dry place. They will keep at room temperature for up to two weeks and longer when stored in cool temperatures. Do not store in the refrigerator because the cold temperatures will convert the starches into sugar and the potato will become sweet and turn a dark color when cooked. Do not store with onions, the gas given off by onions accelerate the decay of potatoes.
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