Potato, Solanum tuberosum, is an herbaceous perennial plant in the family Solanaceae which is grown for its edible tubers. The potato plant has a branched stem and alternately arranged leaves consisting of leaflets which are both of unequal size and shape. The leaflets can be oval to oblong in shape and the leaves can reach 10–30 cm (4–12 in) in length and 5–15 cm (2–6 in) wide. The potato plant produces white or blue flowers and yellow-green berries. The potato tubers grow underground and generally located in the top 25 cm (10 in) of the soil. The tubers can range in color from yellow to red or purple depending on the variety. Potato plants can reach in excess of 1 m (3.3 ft) in height and are grown as annual plants, surviving only one growing season. Potato may also be referred to as, spud, Irish potato, white potato or Spanish potato and originates from South America.
Russet – These are the classic potatoes. They are ideal for baking and are also good fried and mashed.
Fingerling – These are finger-shaped and small and stubby. They naturally grow narrow and small.
Red – They have a waxy texture, which is why their flesh stays firm throughout the entire cooking process. They have thin yet vibrant red skins.
White – They hold their shape well even after cooking. They make a great addition to salads as their delicate and thin skins add the right amount of texture.
Yellow – They have golden skin and yellow to golden flesh. Grilling them gives them a crispy skin that enhances the dense flesh.
Purple – They have moist and firm flesh and add a vibrant color to salads. The purple color of this type of potatoes is preserved best by microwaving.
You can use potatoes to remove stains on the hands. Even rubbing a potato on the face can help you quickly cleanse it.
You can also use potatoes to remove tarnish from silverware. Boil potatoes, keep them aside for further use, and place your silverware in the boiled water. Let it stay for an hour, and then remove and wash them normally.
Restore old shoes using potatoes. Cut potatoes in half and rub them over your old shoes before you apply polish – this will give them a better shine.