Food facts, Potatoes

Potato Nutrition, Selection, Storage & Availability Potatoes contain carbohydrates but no fat. Potatoes are a good source of Vitamin C, iron and potassium.  When choosing potatoes, avoid those that are soft to the touch or have numerous cuts, cracks, bruises, discoloration or decay.  Potatoes with a greenish skin color have been over-exposed to light, which may result in a slightly bitter taste.  Cut away the green portion before cooking.  To protect potatoes from light exposure and inhibit the growth of quick sprouts, store potatoes in a cool (40 to 50 degrees F), dry, dark place.  Do not store potatoes in the refrigerator.  If stored properly, potatoes should last several weeks.  Some varieties of potatoes grown in the United States are the Russet (most popular), Round Whites, and Long Whites. Fresh new red potatoes are available mid-June to August.  White potatoes are available August through October.

Potato Extras Potatoes are native to the Andes Mountains and have been cultivated since early civilization.  When conquistadors conquered Peru, they discovered the potato and brought it back to Europe. French fries were first introduced in the United States by Thomas Jefferson during his 1801-1809 presidency, when he served them in the White House. In 1995, the potato became the first vegetable grown in space with technology developed by NASA and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Information from the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, the Wisconsin Fresh Market Vegetable Growers Association, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection.