Potatoes are a versatile vegetable used as a staple all over the world. They are rich in carbohydrate, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6.
Potatoes are an energy-packed vegetable which provides energy for the whole day. Because of its versatility and use in different types of cuisines in large quantities, it is pretty easy to forget that you have a bag of potatoes resting in your pantry.
Usually, potatoes can last up to 3-5 weeks in the pantry and 3-4 months in the refrigerator. The shelf life of potatoes depends upon many factors such as the sell by date, the preparation method, and kind of potato, storage method used and the humidity of your climate.
Do potatoes go bad?
Yes, potatoes do go bad like all other root vegetables. Though, if stored properly, they can last for quite a long time. Potatoes survive best in dark places with low humidity levels in the climate.
If you plan to keep the potatoes in the refrigerator, the shelf life may be increased, but refrigerated potatoes undergo a change where the colder temperatures convert the starch present in them to sugar which gives them that sweet taste when cooked. This is the reason why refrigerating potatoes to increase shelf life is not recommended.
If you’ve stored potatoes while they were wet, you may have increased their spoilage process as mold can easily grow on wet potatoes. So, it is not a good idea to wash potatoes before storage.
Storing your potatoes on a shelf within your eye reach can help in preventing from going bad but will decrease the shelf life significantly.
How to tell that potatoes have spoiled?
If the shelf life of potatoes has passed or is coming near, they will begin to sprout little growths which do not mean that they have gone bad but, it is a sign that their quality is declining and they should be consumed within a week or so.
As potatoes survive best in dark places, exposure to sunlight can cause green or brown spots to appear on their skin or the inside, which can be removed and do not show spoilage. But, again this is another indication for you to make use of the potatoes immediately.
The most apparent sign of spoilage of potatoes is when you start to see them dry out, or getting shrunk, or becoming mushy. This happens when the humidity levels in your climate are high or you have not stored your potatoes correctly.
Mushy potatoes may start to smell sour or musty which will also notify you that it is not a good idea to consume those potatoes and should be discarded as soon as possible. Apart from these signs, the formation of mold on the potato skin is a sure indication of throwing them off.
Proper storage of potatoes
Fresh, uncut potatoes will remain good in the cellar. You can either store them in a basket or place them in a brown paper bag away from direct heat and moisture to prevent any spoilage as humidity causes the growth of sprouts. Potatoes which are not fresh but still uncut can be placed in brown bags and stored in the refrigerator to increase their shelf life.
Placing them in the vegetable box of the refrigerator will yield the best results. It is important to note, however, that refrigerated potatoes do become darker when cooked.
Another significant point in the storage of potatoes is to never store potatoes near onions or bananas as these can increase the risk of spoilage. Keeping these points in mind, you can surely enjoy saving potatoes from spoiling longer, thus making the most out of them.