“What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.” ― A.A. Milne
A M A T T E R O F P O T A T O E S E M A N T I C S ?
I have never driven a tractor, milked a cow , baled hay or gotten eggs from a hen-house.
Even though I enjoy “farm fresh” veggies and produce when it comes to distinguishing one brand of potato from another I totally depend on the folks in the produce department of my local Safeway outlet to give me the skinny on what’s what.
I had received an advertising circular which highlighted a recipe for a type of potato the article labelled a “baker” potato. The recipe specifically called for this type of potato and NOT a Russet.
My confusion started when I stood in the produce department before bags and bags of Russet potato and not one baker.
I asked a clerk if he could tell me the difference between them. He said they were the same and continued his conversation with a young female shopper with whom he had been chatting before I so rudely interrupted him.
His cavalier attitude peeved me off but then I figured I would delve into the old potato sack myself and see what I could learn.
The photo above shows the two displays: one for the “bagged ” Russets and the other non bagged potato bakers.
To the casual observer they look the same. My friend Luke whom I spoke with the next day clued me in on the discrepancies.
The Russets are washed, cleaned and placed in a protective plastic bag. Their appeal is visual and they are smaller than the Baker potato I was seeking. The potato Baker has a rough and rugged appearance and suffers from bruising and rough handling.
The Baker potato is the one that goes commando. It is not washed, placed on the shelf as it comes out of the delivery basket and is larger and ideal for grilling. Luke told me that his hands are covered with dirt after he places the spuds on the display shelf.
I was fortunate that day and found two washed and ready to grill Baker potatoes on the shelf which I scooped up immediately. I wondered if they were really Russet potatoes that had inadvertently fled the confines of the plastic bag.
To make a long story even shorter the potato recipe worked just fine and now I know a bit more about the pedigree of the Russet potato versus the baker.
Sometime you just gotta get your hands dirty to dig out the truth. — gc