Few things in the world -- aside from eggs or duct tape, maybe -- are as durable, versatile and universally esteemed as the potato.

By Rachael Ray Every Day
November 01, 2005

Choosing the right kind of potato is easy once you learn two essential terms: mealy and waxy. Most potatoes fall into one of these two camps (some are in-between). To find out if a potato is waxy or mealy, drop it into 1 1/3 cups of water mixed with 2 tablespoons of salt. If it floats, it's waxy; if it sinks, it's mealy.

Learn about the types of potatoes, then put them to use in our recipes:

Round Red Waxy with a low starch content, it's a great boiling and roasting potato. Use them to make:

Yukon gold Somewhere between mealy and waxy, this all-purpose spud has a creamy texture and buttery flavor. Use them to make:

Russet Mealy with a high starch content, it yields fluffy baked and mashed potatoes. Use them to make: