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Old 07-11-2013, 05:11 PM   #1
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"Spotty" potatoes

I bought a bag of my favourite red potatoes (Desiree) recently. I peeled a few and they looked absolutely fine, but when I started slicing them they all had tiny black "spots" running through the centres. I have never seen this before. Are they okay to cook and eat? Does anyone know what causes the black spots?

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Old 07-11-2013, 05:21 PM   #2
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I would probably dig out the spots. Are they made by insects, or look like something else? It could be mold, bruises, or digging hits, they should be fine for cooking.
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:33 PM   #3
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Honestly Dawgluver, the spots are so tiny and there are so many of them, I couldn't dig them out. The weird part is that they are inside the potatoes and not on the outside (so there is no evidence of insects or worms burrowing when you peel them). I don't want to go and buy another bag of the same potatoes and find them exactly the same. I'm doing a fennel and potato gratin at the weekend and I don't want slices of potatoes with loads of black spots in them. (That's an aesthetic consideration rather than a food safety question of course.)
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:42 PM   #4
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Interesting. I've not seen that.

Maybe lots of ground black pepper? (I know, not helpful). Someone here should be along shortly who's seen this.
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
Interesting. I've not seen that.

Maybe lots of ground black pepper? (I know, not helpful). Someone here should be along shortly who's seen this.

Me neither! I have been cooking potatoes for donkeys' years and have never seen this before. (And I thought about fresh ground black pepper too, so no worries!)

I guess I'm just curious to see if anyone has any idea what caused the spots.
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:13 PM   #6
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Wonder if some type of worm/potato maggot got in there before the potato formed, tunneled around, and the tubers grew around them underground. I also wonder if you should take them back to the store and get a different bag, maybe ask to slice one before you buy the bag.

Did you check your knife for rust?
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
Wonder if some type of worm/potato maggot got in there before the potato formed, tunneled around, and the tubers grew around them underground. I also wonder if you should take them back to the store and get a different bag, maybe ask to slice one before you buy the bag.

Did you check your knife for rust?
It's a major UK supermarket. I guess I could take the remaining bag back and cut a potato open in front of them (except I might get arrested if I took a knife out in front of the customer service person!)

Oh, and my knives are old and trusty! Definitely not rusty!
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:12 AM   #8
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I've had potatoes with running lines of black spots, almost looking like a very short dashed line. It's maybe 1/4 inch from the surface, running in a curve following the shape of the potato. I've always used the potatoes just like that and with no ill effect. I've always figured it was just some sort of "growth spurt" while the potato was growing larger, but not quite a growth ring. Anyway, I've cooked them and we've eaten them and we're all still alive. Use more pepper, like you said.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:08 AM   #9
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I have had that before too Katy...I threw mine out...looked a bit dodgy
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:56 AM   #10
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I say use them, but take a couple of them back to the store and ask to speak to the produce manager. Cut it open in front of him. He would surely want to know and be able to notify the supplier or farmer of this problem. Check the bag to make sure they are not imported. If they are you may want to consider changing brands.
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