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What are New Potatoes?

Q:

What are new potatoes? I am making stew in a crockpot for and Emeril Lagasse’s recipe calls for new potatoes. My grocery store did not have them. I am substituting red potatoes in the small size. Is there a better choice?

A:

New potatoes are not a particular variety; they just refer to the freshly harvested potatoes of a new season. Emeril Lagasse was from the New Bedford, MA area and this could refer to small reds or small Maine white potatoes; which he might have favored when growing up. He also loves his Idaho russets, using them frequently in many recipes. Over the years this term “new” has frequently been replaced with red potatoes, so you purchased a good choice.

Idaho used to be known for russets only, but also produce reds, yellow and fingerlings now.