There are literally thousands of different varieties of potatoes grown around the world. In the UK around 80 varieties are grown commercially. Below are some of the most popular potato varieties available in this country.
Potatoes are seasonal and are usually harvested, depending on the variety and where in the country they are grown, from May to October. Potatoes are often categorised according to their season. For example: Varieties such as Rocket or Maris Bard are described as ‘earlies’ or ‘new potatoes’ as they are planted in the winter, ready for harvesting in the spring or early summer. Their skins are not firm and ‘set’ and are sometimes referred to as ‘fluffy’.
Varieties such as King Edward or Maris Piper are harvested in late summer or early autumn when their skins are firm and set and are known as ‘maincrop’. The majority of potatoes sold in the UK are maincrop potatoes; they are usually available from September to May.
Varieties such as Charlotte are described as ‘salad’ potatoes. Their skins are firm and ‘set’ and they have a moist texture.
The texture of potatoes varies considerably. A potato may be described as having a waxy or floury texture and there is a scale of 1 – 10 on which varieties are placed. Where potatoes sit on the scale will depend on the amount of dry matter in the potato. For example a floury potato will have a much higher dry matter than a waxy potato. #Bottom