Why Potatoes Taste Sugary And Why You Should Be Concerned


Narinder Singh
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Do you ever wonder why the potatoes you cook taste a little too sweet? Well, you buy the wrong kind of potatoes. But please, do not blame yourself. If you live in a place where only old potatoes are sold, they are bound to taste sugary.

Old potatoes are the ones that have been kept in cold storage for weeks or even months. The farmers or traders want the potatoes to last longer while waiting for their market price to improve.

Why Potatoes Become Sweet in Cold Storage

When potatoes are stored at a low temperature, the starch in the potatoes partially turns into sugar. And that makes them taste sweeter. The problem here is more than just sweetness. It is something called “reducing sugars.”

Reducing Sugars Are Bad For Health

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The starch in potatoes actually turns into reducing sugars. When potatoes with reducing sugars in them are cooked or fried, a carcinogenic substance known as acrylamide is formed, which is highly toxic. Obviously, it is not fit for consumption as food.

To make matters worse, potatoes are kept in cold storage at too cold a temperature. A 1999 research study on ‘Potato Storage In India’ suggested that potatoes were being stored at 2-4℃, which was the appropriate storage temperature for seed potatoes but not for table potatoes. The study suggested that potatoes that are to be used for cooking should be stored at temperatures between 8 and 12℃. Did anyone listen to that?

How To Make Potatoes Less Sugary

Unless you bought new season potatoes, you must assume that your potatoes came from cold storage. They are bound to be sweeter than normal, but you can make them a little less sweet.

According to this Idaho Potato web page, keeping the potatoes at room temperature for a few days partially turns the sugar in potatoes back into starch. That means you have to buy your potatoes a week in advance. Keep an eye on them, though. You have to use the potatoes before they begin to sprout.

Boil Potatoes First

Boiling potatoes helps. It certainly makes them less sweet. You can add boiled potatoes to your curry. On the contrary, if you chop raw potatoes and cook them directly in a curry, the whole curry will taste sugary.

Again, the best solution is to buy only new season potatoes. And good luck with that.

Bonus Content

Watch this YouTube video to learn how to increase the flavor and the health benefits of garlic (click the image):

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