The Q&A Archives: New Potatoes

Question: My best friend and I had quite a discussion about the term, "new potatoes." I'm not a gardener and he's almost at the master gardener level. I've always known "new potatoes" to be the small, red, thin-skinned ones in the grocery store. However, my friend argues vehemently that "new potatoes" is not a variety, but simply the newly harvested potatoes of any color (i.e., white, red, yellow, etc.). He's using "new" as a adjective to describe freshly dug potatoes in general, but I'm using the term, "new potato" to be the name of a particular variety. Can you please resolve our argument?

Thank you!

Answer: Your friend hasn't achieved a Master Gardener level without some study and experience! The term new potato refers to young spuds of any color. When potato plants produce blossoms it indicates that tubers are beginning to form beneath the soil. This generally prompts green-thumb gardeners to dig a few of the newly formed potatoes as an early season treat. So, hope you didn't bet the farm on the outcome of this discussion, because your friend is right!

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