Storing potatoes in the right way allows you to fully enjoy their properties for longer and in complete safety.
Potatoes are an inevitable presence in every kitchen, who does not love this fantastic tuber? Among the advantages of potatoes is just their capacity to last for a long time before they are no longer edible. Preserving potatoes is not complicated, however some tricks are needed in order to make sure their long life is not compromised. A potato stored in the wrong way could in fact become toxic when consumed. Let’s see how to keep potatoes in the best way and in complete safety.
Keep potatoes in a cool and dark place
As for many other foods, the best place to store potatoes is in a cool and dark corner of the house. Potatoes are best preserved when at a temperature of about 7-8°C. At these temperatures potatoes can last up to many months while keeping their nutritional properties practically intact. However light, in particular sunlight, leads potatoes to the production of a toxic substance called solanine. When consumed in high quantities it can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It is typically found primarily in the skin and the top layer of the potato. If you are unsure whether a potato has been stored too much in the sun, removing the skin and a good outer layer (about half an inch) of potato can remove the solanine present.
Do not put potatoes in the refrigerator or freezer
Potatoes love low temperatures but not too low temperatures. When we want to store potatoes, unlike many other foods, the refrigerator and freezer are to be avoided. In contact with the too cold air of the refrigerator, uncooked potatoes will blacken releasing toxic substances once again. Freezing uncooked potatoes should also be avoided: when frozen, the water inside the potatoes turns into crystals which damage cellular structures. Once cooked, however potatoes can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days without any particular problem, even though the consistency will never be as good as when they are eaten freshly cooked. When frozen after having been cooked, potatoes can be kept for up to one year without any problem and without any loss of nutritional qualities. As with other foods, it is desirable to use a container that can limit exposure to air when frozen.
Do not keep potatoes near other vegetables
Various fruits and vegetables produce ethylene during their ripening process. If stored near other ripening fruits and vegetables, potatoes can sprout faster. Especially to be avoided are fruits such as apples and bananas and vegetables such as tomatoes and onions. Keeping potatoes away from these other foods will allow them to last longer. Sprouted potatoes in fact should never be consumed. For storage, a basket or a paper or canvas bag is ideal. This allows air to circulate freely. Plastic bags or envelopes or sealed containers in general should be avoided, in this case the container can trap humidity thus reducing the life of potatoes.