Potatoes and Squash - The unique varieties that are difficult to find
Sid Wainer & Son
Many grocers have great supplies of potato varieties. Probably they have not been culled through to the highest quality as Sid Wainer does for us, but we include here the varieties that we think you will have a hard time finding at local grocers. Don't forget the Salsify (it has its own product page) and its oyster like flavor used often in Europe.
Boniato. Also known as the Cuban sweet potato and Batiste. This potato embodies the flavors of sweet potato, baking potato and chestnut. Use as any potato: bake, boil, fry, mash or make into potato pancakes. The flavor is smooth, and easily overpowered by seasonings. Approximately one piece per pound.
Oca. They taste like potatoes once cooked but can be eaten raw as well. Originally from the Andes the Oca has become a staple in New Zealand. Available in a variety of colors, all equally as delicious. Fried, baked, steamed or added into stews or soups are the most common applications. Please specify, in the instructions panel on your order, the color you desire (red, yellow and apricot).
Purple Potato. Generally available all year from the USA. Prices rise and supplies tighten during the summer months, but generally speaking, you will be able to enjoy them virtually all year. Naturally purple skins and meat make this one of the most interesting and beautiful produce specimens of the last decade. Not a new item, it was one of the first crops enjoyed by ancient civilizations in South America, and potatoes appear to have been a part of the diets of early inhabitants of the southwest United States, too. Now apparently home again, some of the best specialty potatoes are grown in southern Colorado, between the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan mountain ranges. Prepare purple potatoes as you would any potato. Often times, their color is enhanced with cooking, although long-simmering preparations may diminish their sheen just a bit. Their skins are edible, with a distinct “earthy” flavor that is not overpowering.
Mixed Marble Potatoes. Small quarter sized potato with rich flavor in three colors (red, purple and white) that are great in flavor and and add great color to your plate. I
Baby Sweet Potatos. Fabulous sweet flavor in just the right size. Deemed one of the most nutritious foods on earth, sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin C, potassium, fiber and carotenoids. So they aren't just delicious, they're good for you! Add to fingerling medleys or serve as a side on their on.
Fingerling Potatoes - Purple Peruvian. Fingerlings are labeled as such for their elongated shape. From the potato capital of the world (over 4000 varieties in Peru) and loved for their earthy flavors and skins that are thin and delicious as well.
Amarosa Fingerling Potatoes The Amarosa has smooth, deep-red skin & flesh that retains its vivid color and sweet flavor even after cooking.
Kennebec Potatoes. The Kennebec is a big, hefty potato with a rich, earthy and nutty flavor. The flesh of the Kennebec potato is firm and moist, yet starchy, making it a versatile potato in the kitchen. Its thin. slightly rough skin is creamy white and tan and its flesh is soft ivory in color. While Kennebec potatoes are most widely utilized for frying (they make wonderful chips & french fries!), they are an outstanding all-purpose potato. They can be baked, mashed, scalloped and made into hash browns. Their firm texture when cooked makes them ideal for use in potato salads, stews and soups. Their pleasant, but mild flavor makes them a perfect companion to other hearty ingredients.
Chayote A hard, green, mild squash, the chayote is another wonderful plant native to Mexico. The beauty of the chayote is that it takes on the flavor of whatever seasoning it's cooked in. Serve on the side of your favorite meat. The basic simple recipe is to saute sliced chayote in butter, olive oil and onions. It loves spices and strong flavors.