Potato – The Super Spud!
Potatoes come in three basic categories – starchy, waxy, and all-purpose (a sort of in-between type).
Starchies are tops for baking and frying because they’re absorbent. They drink in butter on a baked potato or the oil in a deep fryer. They mash well but shouldn’t be overmashed or they get gluggy.
Waxies hold their shape when cooking so they’re good to boil, slice, or roast for soups, stews, and salads. They don’t mash well.
All-purpose spuds have less starch than starchy potatoes, but hold together better when cooked so they’re good all-rounders.
- King Edward
- Sweet potatoes
- Dutch Cream
- Pink Eye (aka Southern Gold)
- Golden Delight
And why exactly are potatoes known as spuds?
It comes from association with a type of sharp edged, short handled, narrow gardening spade known since the 1660s as a spud. It was used for digging up large rooted plants including potatoes.
As slang for a potato, spud first popped up in print in an 1840s book about traveling in New Zealand. Sharing some NZ slang, the author wrote: “Pigs and potatoes were respectively represented by ‘grunters’ and ‘spuds’.”
For a while, potato sellers were called spuddies.