Get inspired by different types of potatoes from around the world!
Ever eaten a purple potato? What about a red, white, yellow or blue potato? It might surprise you to know there are 5,000 different types of potatoes worldwide, with new varieties appearing all the time. The potato is an incredible success, eaten by a billion people across the world.
We haven’t got space to show you 5,000 different potatoes here. Nevertheless, we’ve gone truly international with our selection of different types of potatoes.
The rise of the potato as a global staple food from its roots in the Andes of South America is a fascinating story. So we’ve tried to show off the diversity of this incredible vegetable as much as possible.
We hope you’ll be inspired to start growing a few of your own potatoes with these ideas we’ve gathered together for you.
Types of Potatoes
The number of different potato varieties is staggering. And then there are different types of potato.
Some potatoes are waxy and stay together when they are cooked, making them ideal for salads. Others are floury or starchy – these are the ones that make perfect mash. Then there are those all-purpose potatoes that do both of these jobs and more, pretty well!
On our potato journey, we’ll discover that each country has its own favourites. The great thing about growing your own potatoes is that you have more varieties to choose from than you get in the stores.
Local farmers’ markets are an excellent place to find different types of potato – you should see a bit more diversity than you get in the supermarket. Discover something new today.
What are the different types of potatoes?
The world of potatoes can get a bit mind-boggling if you are new to gardening. There are different colours, textures, sizes – and different types of potatoes for different seasons! Did we mention there are 5,000 varieties?
Simply put, you can get starchy, waxy or all-purpose potatoes as we mentioned above. Some can be harvested early (smaller ‘new’ or salad potatoes) and some later in the year (late, maincrop or storage potatoes).
You can harvest maincrop potatoes when they are small if you like, and eat them as ‘earlies’ before they reach full size. In hot climates, most potatoes will be earlies because they don’t store well in the ground.
Early potatoes are usually planted early in the year. They are often known as ‘new’ or salad potatoes and make great choices for growing in containers because you harvest them when they are small. Yukon Gold, Yukon Gem, Charlotte, Red Pontiac and Huckleberry Gold are all excellent choices for growing in pots or small spaces.
Late, Maincrop or Storage Potatoes
These potatoes can get really big and take longer to reach full size – up to 20 weeks. They need a bit more space. They are usually grown in the garden rather than in pots. It is possible to grow them in containers, but they might not get as big as they would in the ground. Some great varieties to try are Russet Burbank, Inca Gold, Viking Red and Desiree.
How many of these different types of potato have you heard of?
21 Different Types of Potatoes
Purple Peruvian or Papa Púrpura
If you didn’t already know, South America is the home of the potato. An incredible 3,000 different types of potatoes are found in the Andes alone! Purple potatoes are native to Lake Titicaca. These fingerling beauties are packed full of antioxidants.
This potato variety is a favorite in the UK because of its versatility. It’s boiled, mashed, fried, baked, roasted, chipped – this all-rounder covers all the bases.
This potato variety is popular in Ireland. Kerr’s Pink has lovely rosy skin. It’s great for mashing. Despite being known as Irish potato, Kerr’s Pink was first developed and grown in Scotland in 1907.
Also known as La Ratte or Laratte, this is a favorite potato with French growers. It either came from Denmark or France originally – nobody is sure which. Golden yellow with a nutty flavor, it’s excellent in salads.
Pink with a thin skin, Papa Rosada is a popular and versatile potato in South America, especially in its native Peru. It’s often used for french fries but suits a whole range of other dishes too. Also known as the Canchan potato.
A waxy fingerling potato that’s well-known in the US for its elongated shape, creamy yellow flesh and nutty flavor. The Russian Banana comes from the Baltic area of north-east Europe.
This well-known early season yellow potato from Canada is excellent baked. The potato’s breeder was inspired by Peru’s Papa Amarilla (yellow potato) and wanted to create a similar Canadian potato.
Famous in the UK for being the perfect salad potato, Jersey Royals are only grown on Jersey in the Channel Islands. These early potatoes are golden and buttery.
A potato of Hungarian origin, Sarpo Mira is famed for its resistance to potato blight. It’s a favorite amongst organic growers because it needs very little attention. It produces large pink starchy tubers as the main crop.
This is the most widely grown potato in the US. Russets are starchy potatoes and the popular choice for producers of french fries. The size and shape of Russet Burbank mean you can get lots of straight fries out of a single potato.
A favorite on both sides of the Atlantic and elsewhere in the world, Desiree is a red-skinned potato with creamy flesh which makes a good all-rounder. Excellent for mash.
This is a stunningly purple potato from France. The vibrant violet-blue colors remain even after the potatoes are cooked. They are thick-skinned and taste like chestnuts.
One of the best potatoes ever for roasting; King Edwards are fluffy white potatoes with pinkish eyes on the skins. A UK favorite.
This is another beautiful purple potato that will add color to any dish. The flavor of purple potatoes is earthier than white potatoes, and a little nutty. They are a source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and the immune system booster, anthocyanin.
This potato originates from an indigenous Peruvian variety grown in the foothills of the Andes. The flesh is golden yellow and fluffy, excellent for roasting or baking. Popular with chefs in top restaurants.
This fluffy maincrop potato has a distinctive yellow and pink coat which looks like it’s been stencilled on! A popular variety for mashing, baking and roasting.
Originally from Florida, this is a popular red-skinned potato which is now enjoyed in many countries worldwide. Boil, bake and make fries with them.
A red-skinned type of potato from Ireland with excellent flavor, Rooster is another versatile all-rounder which is delicious to eat roasted.
Love a purple and gold combination? This potato is for you. The yellow flesh of these oval potatoes is excellently baked, boiled or fried.
A late-season all-rounder, German Butterball is a yellow potato with a lot of different uses. First introduced to the world from Idaho in the 1980s, the buttery rich flavor has been a hit ever since.
Pink Fir Apple
An old French potato variety, this knobbly-shaped fingerling has pink skin and waxy flesh with great flavor. It’s a late maincrop variety that stores well.