Different types of potatoes
According to Neff Kitchen, spuds are categorised into three basic types.
As the name suggests, these potatoes are high in starch, low in moisture and have a floury texture. As well as Yukon Gold and Russets, this variety also includes King Edward and Sweet potatoes.
Fluffy and absorbent, these spuds are best suited for mash, but are also great for baking and frying, so can be used to make chips, wedges or hash browns.
This variety has less starch and contain more moisture and sugar – it includes Dutch Cream and Kipfler potatoes. Often smaller with a waxy skin and a creamy and firm inside, they’re perfect for making boiling, roasting and slicing, so can be used in soups or potato salads.
An all-round good spud, these potatoes have a medium starch content, more moisture than the starchy variety and hold together in boiling water.
This variety includes Desiree, Sebago and Coliban potatoes, and can be used for roasting, pan frying, stewing or gratins such as Dauphinoise potatoes.
While they can be used for mash, they will not produce the same fluffy texture as the high starch variety.
The best potatoes for mash
To make the fluffiest and smoothest mash, higher starch potatoes are the perfect choice.
These spuds release a milky, starch liquid if pricked or cut, and tend to be long in size and have coarser skin.
While Yukon Gold potatoes tend to be the best potato for mash, this variety isn’t readily available in Australia.
Aussie Taste recommend other yellow-fleshed potatoes, like Bintje, as a good alternative. These potatoes are small to medium sized and have a long oval shape. These potatoes also have a long shelf life and are available all year round.
Sebago potatoes are also a great all-rounder spud that’s suitable for mashes.
How to make the perfect mash
Prep: 10 Minutes - Cook: 20 Minutes - Easy - Serves 6
1kilo of potatoes – use the high starch variety, like Yukon Gold or Russet
1/4 cup of milk
50g butter, chopped
Salt and pepper
1. Peel the potatoes and chop any large ones so they’re all a similar size.
2. Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling water over a medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Drain in a colander and leave to dry, then put the potatoes back in the pan and mash them.
4. When the potatoes are almost smooth, add half the butter, the milk and salt and pepper.
If you’re feeling adventurous you can even garnish your mash with chopped spring onions, or to add a bit of heat add grated fresh horseradish or a spoonful of wholegrain mustard.
What about the best potatoes for boiling?
Waxy potatoes like Desiree, Nicola or Pink Eye are the best variety for boiling.
Again, Sebago potatoes are a versatile potato that would also be good for boiling.