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Subject: STORING POTATOES
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: Mary Anne <silver7[at]wcnet.net>
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 18:47:24 -0600
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How can i keep my potatoes from sprouting.   I usually buy a 10 lb bag but
before i can use them usually within 2 to 3 weeks they sprout.   We live on
the Gulf Coast and its very damp and humid here almost year around.  I don't
like to refrigerate them because they turn sweet.  If anyone has any
suggestions other that the fridge i would appreciate it.   Mary Anne

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From: ericp[at]mindspring.com (eric pearson)
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 02:43:53 GMT
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Mary Anne,
First and most important, 
don't put them anywhere near onions. Onions will make potatoes
deteriorate in a hurry.
Second, keep them dry. Consider keeping them in the enclosure with
your water heater of A/C if there are no other options.
Or keep them near a fan where air is circulating.
Or keep them in a box of sand with a bag of rice on top of the sand.

I'm sure others will have ideas too.

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From: Schaller_Barb[at]htc.honeywell.com (Melba's Jammin')
Date: 19 Jan 1999 19:29:19 GMT
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>First and most important, 
>don't put them anywhere near onions. Onions will make potatoes
>deteriorate in a hurry.

You know, I've heard that before, but my bag of onions and my bag of spuds
share close quarters in a kitchen drawer and I've never noticed undue
deterioration
of the spuds -- and we don't eat a lot of them in a hurry.

Perhaps Mary Anne's best solution would be to buy only what she could reasonably
expect to use in a week or 10 days.  They're no bargain if you're chucking
them out, though if I have sprouts on some, I just brush the sprout off
and proceed with the peeling of it.   

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From: jstrain[at]my-dejanews.com
Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 00:51:55 GMT
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I guess nobody's old enough to remmeber GrandMa's Root Cellar? The potatoes
and all buried in the soil root-derived"  plant products were kept in their
respective bins in a dark cool basement. As a biologist,I know that  sunlight
and temperature trigger sprouting in potatoes. Some keep 'em in the "crisper"
of the ice-a-box, like me, a bachelor cook, it takes FOREVER to consume a
$1.99 bag of 10 lbs of potatoes. Authorities say such refrigeration changes
the character of the starch in the  potato-makes it grainy? I've never
noticed it. Yodar 

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From: bethers66[at]aol.com (Beth)
Date: 19 Jan 1999 02:47:57 GMT
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I buy those big bags, too...   and mine sprout in 2 weeks as well.

PLUS, I live in COLORADO where "Humidity" is not a word in our vocabulary.  
I'd love to know how to prevent those annoying little buds!

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From: Bob Slover <BobSlo[at]flink.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 23:19:04 +0000
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Most important is to get the potatoes OUT of the PLASTIC BAG and in a
cool dark place. I keep mine in a net bag and I'll have them for 2
months or more, they will dehydrate a little and get a little soft but
they cook up just fine.

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From: M. Smith <smithm[at]mvp.net>
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 21:21:32 -0600
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Noted the following from an online search:
------------------------------------
Potato Storage Management

by Dale D. Moyer
Columbia University
Cooperative Extension Agent
Potato Specialist

The holding environment for good quality potatoes should be maintained at a
high relative humidity (90-95%) (see figure 1) and temperatures between
38-55F, depending on the ultimate market of the potatoes. During this
period, tuber quality should be preserved by keeping weight loss to a
minimum and by controlling sprouting and rot. Temperatures between 38-40F
is the optimum temperature range for sprout suppression. These temperature
levels will also control bacterial soft rot, silver scurf, and other storage
diseases and minimize the respiration rate. Research has shown that
respiration is lowest at a holding temperature of 45F. If the relative
humidity is kept high and sprout inhibitors are used, potatoes stored at
45F will maintain a physical quality similar to those stored at 40.

Full article at: http://jaybird-mfg.com/potato.html

So, you want cool and damp. Just like your grandparent's root celler.

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From: mandycat[at]webtv.net (Sheryl Rosen)
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 23:51:00 -0500 (EST)
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I found I had a similar problem...the potatoes sprouted before I could
use them all up.  

The best solution is to simply buy fewer potatoes at a time. Then you
don't have to worry about storage. I now buy maybe 4-6 potatoes at a
time.  When they are gone, I buy more. 

Sure, they're 79 cents a lb, vs. 5 pounds for a dollar and some  change.
But if you're wasting half the bag, it's no bargain to buy in bulk, is
it?  If you absolutely can't pass up that "10 pound bag of potatoes for
1.99" special at the grocery store, find a friend or neighbor to split
it with you.  

You obviously cannot use up the 10 lbs in a reasonable amount of time.
Don't buy that many.

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From: John <pyrus[at]netspace.net.au>
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 13:02:54 GMT
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Storing an apple with potatoes is supposed to stop them sprouting, but
it might not work with potatoes that have already been stored for a
while.

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From: Paul Ferrara <paul[at]columbusoft.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 05:34:05 -0500
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The "problem" is that a ten pound bag isn't much more expensive than 5 lbs.
And like most folks, the best places for me to store them are either too
cold or too warm.  I thought about buying a small fridge to keep at 55 deg
or so but then decided it was probably cheaper just to throw some away.

Same problem with garlic.

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From: Mimi W. Tzeng <mtzeng[at]indiana.edu>
Date: 21 Jan 1999 14:32:06 GMT
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Paul Ferrara wrote:
>Same problem with garlic.

I store garlic in those egg things in the fridge door, where you aren't
supposed to store your eggs because it's too warm. Too bad potatoes can't
fit there too. ;)

I store my potatoes in the veggie bin at the bottom of the fridge. Don't
know what the temperature is there, but they seem to keep pretty well.

If you live near a university, used dorm-sized fridges can probably be
obtained cheaply. All the ones my family has ever used we've gotten in
the $45-60 range. 

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From: Ivan Weiss <ivan[at]blaze.accessone.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 20:30:04 -0800
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What's the problem? Dice up 3-4 potatoes every morning, steam them for 5
minutes, then fry them in olive oil, with a head of garlic broken up in
cloves. Don't even bother peeling the garlic; the skins come off in the
oil and crunch right up. Salt them and pepper them and pour Bufalo Salsa
Chipotle over them. Serve with a couple fried eggs and a triple espresso,
then go out and face the day, and you'll steamroller anything in your
path. :-)

But seriously, folks . . . In "Fit For Life" there's a recipe for cream of
cauliflower soup without the cream. The recipe calls for white miso
instead. I have substituted potatoes for cauliflower in this recipe with
great success. I freeze the soup in quarts and pints and take it to work,
where I nuke it in the micro for dinner. This is a great way to go through
a lot of potatoes.

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From: stefanie freeston <anfre[at]ihug.co.nz>
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 00:25:57 +1300
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I used to store them in a drawer, they kept for months. Now I use a strong
paperbag which is good as well. Also I check on them once or twice a week and
weed out rotten and heavy sproutet ones. If they are beyond use, I plant them in
the garden. As I live in a market garden area, I get vegetables very cheap and
tend to buy them for my parents too. We share big packs (eg 10kgs of potatoes),
but I get through them on my own without too much loss. Regards Stefanie


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