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


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: