Potatoes are available all year round.
Storage and Handling
Store in a cool, dark and dry place, do not refrigerate as this can change the flavour. Handle all fresh produce with care and wash before eating.
Potatoes, often called spuds, are probably native to the Andes in South America. They have been a staple food of the Europeans and North Americans for nearly two hundred years! Potatoes, like most of the common vegetables we know today, came to New Zealand from the British Isles and were established by 1880 as a staple part of the early settlers’ diet. Potatoes are such an important food that 2008 was declared Year of the Potato by the United Nations.
- Potatoes are the number one vegetable in New Zealand with 97% of us eating them
- 53% of New Zealanders consume fresh potatoes four times per week and 21% of New Zealanders eat them daily
- The part of the plant we eat is the swollen underground stem, called the tuber
- Many potato varieties are grown in New Zealand, but there are no more than 10 to 12 varieties which are ‘common’ and readily available. In addition, there are many varieties that have limited and/or localised supplies
- Potatoes tend to be categorized as waxy, general purpose or floury with each category being better suited to specific types of cooking
Waxy potatoes (most early/new season potatoes)
- Ilam Hardy
- Red Rascal
- New potatoes are available from late August through to February
- New potatoes are immature potatoes harvested during the spring or summer
- The skins of new potatoes are generally thinner and flakier than found on older potatoes
- Plant potatoes in September to November (after frost risk has passed)
- Once seed potatoes sprout they are ready for planting
- Potatoes can be planted in large buckets or pots if you short of space in your vegetable patch
Potatoes are a source of folate, potassium, niacin (vitamin B3), thiamine (vitamin B1) and vitamins B6 and C.
You will find the full Nutrition Information Panel on the New Zealand Food Composition Data website. This website is owned jointly by Plant & Food Research and the Manatū Hauora Ministry of Health. This website holds the most comprehensive collection of high-quality nutrient data for New Zealand foods. The Database is managed and maintained by dedicated Plant & Food Research staff.