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Old 03-12-2008, 07:23 PM   #1
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Keeping red skin potatoes red?

Hello all,
When boiling red potatoes for potato salad, is there a way to keep the skin nice and red? I'm making 10 lbs. for a baby shower and would like it to look nice if possible.
Thanks,
John.

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Old 03-12-2008, 08:35 PM   #2
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John, I think "boiling" might be the culprit. I always steam my potatoes for potato salad. I use my rice steamer (has a veggie steamer insert) to steam my potatoes. The skins still lose some of their color, but they still look like they're "red" potatoes.
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:49 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reply Katie,
I have to do this tommorow and I would like to know how the "store bought" salads keep thier red color. I have a steamer, but it only holds about a pound or so of product. Ten pounds of taters would be a real challenge to say the least
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:52 PM   #4
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Red skin potatoes contain a chemical compound called anthocyanin. There is not a lot of this compound in red potatoes. When they are boiled, skipping all the chemistry details, the compound decomposes. When it decomposes, the red is gone. When steaming, I would have thought that it would have had the same effect as boiling. My assumption in English is that the steaming doesn't break down all of the anthocyanin or at least, not as much as boiling does, likely due to the fact that boiling occurs when potatoes are immersed in water and steaming doesn't. When it's in water, the anthocyanin is broken down more.
You may care to note that anthocyanin ranges from blue to red depending on the pH. Thus, this may or may not work, so try it maybe on 1 or 1/2 a potatoe. Take it and give it a brief soaking in citric acid (lime/lemon juice). Then, proceed to steam it. I'm not sure on the exact pHs that will make the anthocyanin turn from red to blue.
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:49 PM   #5
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The tater salad turned out just fine.
I took Katies advise and steamed about 1/2 of the potatoes and I microwaved the other half. The color stayed a bit brighter on the micro'd spuds.
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