Why are our potatoes always sprouting? Whether we buy all-purpose white potatoes (photo #2) or a bag of creamer potatoes (photo #4), if we don’t use them in a week, they start to sprout.
We turned to the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) for advice.
Potatoes aren’t as perishable as lettuce, for example. But when it comes to perishable foods, specifically potatoes, notes the IPC, it can be a challenge trying to keep them fresh for weeks.
Like all produce, potatoes need to be stored properly in order to stay fresh. If stored well, they can be usable for weeks, even months.
Here are tips from the Idaho Potato Commission to ensure your potatoes remain fresh as long as possible.
It seems that we failed to observe two of them; hence our sprouting problem.
1. Potato Storage Starts At The Store
Look for potatoes that don’t have any cuts or bruises; they tend to spoil more quickly. A perfect Idaho® potato has smooth skin and few and shallow eyes.
You may be tempted to wash your potatoes as soon as you get home. Don’t! The little bit of dirt you may see protects the potato and keeps it from prematurely spoiling.
3. Keep Potatoes Cool But Not Cold
Store your potatoes between 45° and 55°F and never put them in the refrigerator (the average refrigerator temperature is 35°F).
It’s okay to store the potatoes in their retail bags; however, they’ll hold up a little better if you remove them from the bag and place in a well-ventilated basket or bowl (photo #3). This will allow the potatoes to ”breathe.”
Potatoes are living organisms and can reproduce on their own. Too much light (sunlight or indoor light) will “wake them up” and cause the potato skins to turn a greenish color.
Onions release ethylene gas that accelerates potato ripening. So keep the onions far apart!
Sometimes potatoes will begin to sprout from their little “eye” indentations. This is normal. Pick off the sprout and the potato is ready to be prepared.
FIFO means First In, First Out. If you still have a few potatoes left from your last grocery shopping trip, use the older ones first.
Potatoes are tough-looking, but they should be treated gently. Rough handling will cause bruising and cracking.
ABOUT THE IDAHO POTATO COMMISSION
Established in 1937, the Idaho Potato Commission is a state agency that is responsible for promoting and protecting the famous “Grown in Idaho®” seal, a federally registered trademark that assures consumers they are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho® potatoes.
Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil, give Idaho® potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance. These ideal growing conditions are what differentiate Idaho® potatoes from potatoes grown in other states.
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