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How to Use Purple Potatoes

By Cook's Illustrated Published May 2018

We tasted three different kinds of purple potatoes to determine what they taste like and how much starch they contain.

These days, many supermarkets and farmers' markets offer eye-catching varieties of purple potatoes. We know that certain recipes are best made with low-starch, waxy potatoes, while others require high-starch potatoes. We wondered where purple potatoes fell on the starch continuum.

We roasted Adirondack Blue, Purple Creamer, and Purple Majesty potatoes and found that all the samples tasted quite earthy and that they ranged in texture from fairly smooth to very grainy. Despite their differences, all three varieties seemed similar to Yukon Gold potatoes, a medium-moisture, medium-starch variety. To further explore how their starch levels would affect their use, we made home fries and gnocchi using russet, Yukon Gold, and the three types of purple potatoes. While all the purple potatoes made acceptable home fries, the purple gnocchi were dense and gummy across the board, due to their low starch levels. We recommend skipping purple potatoes in recipes where the starch content is critical to success, such as potato latkes or gnocchi. Instead, substitute them in recipes that call for Yukon Gold potatoes.

Purple Majesty

Purple Creamer