What's The Difference: Jumbo vs. Regular Potatoes vs. Marble Potatoes

What are your favorite potatoes?

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Did you know that the potatoes that are widely available in the supermarkets and palengke are classified as all-purpose potatoes? These potatoes are most probably either the Granola potato or the Igorota potato. These are the most commonly grown potatoes in the Philippines. 

That's why when shopping for potatoes in the supermarket, you usually have only three choices: the jumbo, the regular, or the marble potatoesNone of these are labeled by the kind of potato it is, just like carrots are carrots and garlic are garlic. 

The biggest difference between these potatoes are their size. 

Jumbo potatoes are large in size, regular potatoes are small to medium-sized, and marble potatoes are baby potatoes. 

When it comes to recipes, it's all about the size. Jumbo are big, regular are small to medium, and marble potatoes are very small.

  • • Jumbo potatoes are fantastic when baked for baked potato recipes or when you want to fries or homemade potato chips.
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  • • Regular potatoes are great for your stews and mashed potatoes. Since these are not too big and not too small, these are easy to peel and cube into bite-sized pieces or large chunks.
  • • Another term for marble potatoes is baby potatoes or new potatoes. That's because the marble potatoes are literally harvested when still small and round. These can be of any of the general-purpose potato varieties. When left to grow bigger, these are then classified according to their sizes. 

Here's what you should know about these potatoes: 

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1 Marble potatoes are the most affordable but may be hard to peel. 

The most affordable potatoes are these small baby potatoes. This is probably because these are the easiest to grow and harvest since it takes less time than the bigger ones. 

These however are a hassle to peel because of their size. The good news about marble potatoes is that since these are young potatoes, the skins are much more tender and are deliciously earthy when eaten. When scrubbed well, the marble potatoes with skins on are fantastic when roasted, fried, or even gently boiled until just tender, around 10 to 15 minutes after the water comes to a boil. 

Photo by Michael Angelo Chua
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2 The jumbo potatoes make the best baked potatoes and fries. 

The size is what makes these potatoes fantastic. The potatoes that grow to be jumbo potatoes are commonly the starchy kind compared to the waxy variety. Starchy potatoes such as most jumbo potatoes are dry potatoes when cooked but fluff up well. These make fantastic fluffy baked potatoes and fries. Waxy potatoes such as marble potatoes meanwhile are best boiled or roasted since these hold their shape better after cooking. 

3 Regular potatoes are the most economical. 

If you're unsure about what kind of potato is best for your recipe, choose the regular potatoes. These are the most economical of the three sizes of potatoes. It's just-right size makes these great for many recipes that require the jumbo as well as the marble potatoes. 

To use regular-sized potatoes instead of jumbo potatoes in a recipe, prepare potatoes as the recipe directs but remember to lessen the cooking time. To use in place of marble potatoes, cube regular potatoes into chunks around the size of baby potatoes and cook according to the recipe. Easy! 

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Since you know what kind of potatoes you can choose, here are tips on how to choose potatoes when in the supermarket or palengke

  1. 1. Potatoes should feel heavy and, when lightly pressed, very firm.
  2. 2. Look for potatoes with clean skin and no eyes.
  3. 3. Avoid those with soft spots, cracks, cuts, or that have a green tinge or sprouts.  

If you do get a potato that has a greenish tinge on its skin, also known as solanine, don't worry. Just cut these away and proceed with your recipe. 

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