What Are Baby Potatoes?

Baby potatoes, also called marble potatoes, are potatoes that have been dug up from the ground before they fully mature, hence the name "baby". Farmers would originally harvest young potatoes early to make room for other potatoes to grow underground. However, these new potatoes yield a unique taste and texture that makes them popular with home cooks!

Baby potatoes are much smaller than regular mature ones, with softer, thinner skins and a higher moisture content. They are also much lower in starch. They typically retain their shape when cooked, which makes them a popular choice for cold recipes like potato salad.

What Do New Potatoes Taste Like?

Any variety of potato can be harvested as a baby/marble potato, which means that the flavor and texture of new potatoes may vary between these varieties. They typically taste sweeter and have softer flesh. When baby potatoes are fried or roasted, their thin, soft skins crisp up beautifully. When boiled, waxy baby potatoes develop a creamy quality while still maintaining their shape.

You can roast or fry new potatoes in olive oil for a crispy side dish, or boil them for potato salad. Avoid making mashed potatoes with them because they retain their shape too well to reach the desired mushy texture. Baby potatoes often have a little bit of dirt on their skins, but a simple rinse to clear the dirt off of them is enough to prepare them for cooking.

How to Store New Potatoes

  1. Keep them out of sunlight. When potatoes get too much sunlight, they can sprout new buds and turn green on the inside because they are still producing chlorophyll. To prevent this from happening, store your new potatoes in a cool, dry place out of the sunlight. Instead of keeping them on the countertop, store them in a cabinet inside a perforated bag, paper bag, cardboard box or mesh basket.

  2. Provide good air circulation. The best way to store your spuds is in a well-ventilated vessel to prevent them from becoming too damp. Avoid airtight containers that will dry out the potatoes. Instead, keep your potatoes in mesh bags or perforated bags that allow them to breathe.

  3. Keep away from certain other fruits or veggies. It’s important to keep potatoes away from fruits and veggies like apples, avocados, bananas, or onions, which will emit an ethylene gas that may encourage potatoes to sprout.

  4. Avoid warmth. Keep your new potatoes away from the oven or other areas in the house that might have excessive warmth. When they are kept in spaces that are warmer than room temperature, new potatoes can begin to sprout or soften.

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