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Storing and handling potatoes

Handle potatoes gently.  Potatoes are perishable and will bruise easily if dropped or if something heavy is placed on them.  They do need special care for storing. If you purchase potatoes in a plastic bag, transfer them to a heavy paper bag to protect them from light and to let them breathe.

Potatoes should be stored in a cool place, but not in the refrigerator.  The best place is a dark, well-ventilated area at temperatures between 7-10°C (45-50°F).  A kitchen cupboard is often too warm causing the potatoes to sprout, shrivel, or lose nutrients and moisture.  An outside wall, dark closet or the basement are good for potato storage.  If you have a “potato bin,” make sure it too is in a cool place and avoid storing onions in the same bin – onions and potatoes stored together speed up the deterioration of both.

Potatoes exposed to light will turn green and have a bitter flavor.  Green spots should be removed before cooking or if the whole potato is green, discard.

 “New potatoes,” the first pick of the season, can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.  Storing other potatoes in cold temperatures can result in dark lines or spots and an unpleasant, sweet flavor when cooked.