Potato types and varieties: Difference between new and old potato

Hello to all agrohuerters! The protagonist of today’s article will be the potato. We will learn the difference between what is known as «old potato» and «new potato», which are the types of potatoes that are most cultivated and we will investigate which is the best variety to make a wonderful potato omelette.

Its scientific name is Solanum tuberosum, it belongs to the nightshade family and originated in South America. As a curiosity, for many years the potato plant was cultivated in Europe simply for ornamental use. Over the years it began to be consumed all over the world and today it is one of the most consumed foods. There are over 7,000 varieties worldwide!

Different types of potatoes. (Source:


Before looking at the most important varieties, we must highlight another criterion for classifying the types of potatoes based on when they are harvested. Therefore, we have:

New or early potato

In this case, the potatoes are harvested before they mature, being more fragile and their shelf life is shorter. The skin is clear, very fine and smooth. They have much more water and are smaller in size.

They are more suitable for cooking and frying because, being more compact, they will not break. In addition, they have fewer calories than the old ones (It is important to remove all the green parts well as they contain solanine, a toxic substance!)

old or late potato

These potatoes are the ones that can be harvested up to 12 months after their optimal state of ripeness. We can also see with the name of «old» those potatoes that were collected the previous year and are sold this year.

The skin of these potatoes is much darker, wrinkled and thick. They are bigger than the new ones, the interior is more yellow and soft. In the kitchen they are used mainly for purées and stews since they contain more starch than the new ones.



The Monalisa variety is said to be «the queen of potatoes». It is one of the best-selling types of potatoes. It does not break during cooking and when fried they absorb little oil. Therefore, it is ideal for stewing, baking and, of course, for potato omelettes.

Monalisa potato. (Source:


Kennebec is another of the successful varieties. Within this variety are the » pataca de Galicia » and the «patatas de Prades» (from Catalonia). They have a more pronounced flavor than the previous ones. They can be used for everything, but it is recommended to use them for roasting, cooking and in stews.

Kennebec potato. (Source:


The Spunta variety is semi-late, noted for its elongated shape and mild flavor. It is very common in the North of Spain and is usually used (cooked) in salads.

Spike potato. (Source:


The Sour potato is very yellow on the inside and can sometimes be confused with the Kennebec variety, although it is darker. It contains a low level of sugars and is said to be the potato to use if you want to get the perfect fries (Tender on the inside and crispy on the outside!). They are not highly recommended for cooking.

Sour Potato. (Source:


The Jaerla potato is an early variety, highly recommended for cooking, using it a lot in salads. It has an oval shape and is light yellow inside.

Jaerla potato. (Source:


As its name suggests, it is a variety that is red on the outside and white on the inside. This variety tolerates refrigeration well. They have a floury texture and are ideal for stewing.

Potato Red Pontiac. (Source:


As I mentioned before, there are thousands and thousands of varieties of potato. In addition to the above, there are others less known such as:


The important thing for a good cooking is that the potato is soft but, at the same time, compact. The Desirée variety achieves these characteristics.


It is a very productive variety and they keep quite well. Unlike the Desirée variety, Baraka potatoes are recommended for frying. It has a light yellow color.


The Nagore variety is also more recommended to be used for frying.

I leave you here a link on how to re-grow potatoes: “How to re-grow potatoes. Planting potatoes in 5 easy steps»

This is all for today, I hope you liked the article and you can write in the comments the types of potatoes that are most grown in your countries.

Have a nice day!

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