"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Vegetables
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-22-2013, 10:55 AM   #1
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Potatoes that go bad too quickly

A couple weeks ago I mentioned buying some humongous russet potatoes on the cheap. Two-something for 10 lbs.
I kept them where I usually do, in a dark cool place, and in two days they were looking back at me. Not only did all of them have eyes, they must have been on some accelerated growth hormone, because these eyes might as well have been called sprouts... or limbs even
The spuds were still firm, so I used them as best as I could for a few days, digging deep to extract the eyes and eventually slicing whole sides of the spud off and reducing its size by 30%. They turned soft quickly and were basically a waste, even though I'm sure I ate two dollars worth.

Guess what? The town store has them on sale again, but lesson learned.
So what do you think happened?
Do you think the gigantic size made them susceptible to spoiling more quickly? Other than assuring they are firm and have no eyes when purchasing, I know no other way to check for a healthy potato that won't go bad inside a week.
__________________

__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 11:01 AM   #2
Certified Cake Maniac
 
LPBeier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Great "Wet" North
Posts: 20,250
Pac, if the potatoes were on sale for that big a bargain, my guess is that they have been sitting at the farm or wholesale for awhile and were just ready to turn. I have had that happen to me before.
__________________

__________________
Living gluten/dairy/sugar/fat/caffeine-free and loving it!
LPBeier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 11:27 AM   #3
Master Chef
 
Aunt Bea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: near Mount Pilot
Posts: 7,499
Where were they grown?

If these potatoes have been grown in the north they have been stored in a low oxygen cold storage to preserve them since they were harvested last fall. Once removed from storage and into a warmer environment they think it is spring and start to grow.
Aunt Bea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 11:33 AM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Thanks for fixing my typo

Laurie, I even did a search because I've never seen spuds turn so quickly and all that was said was they were old. And they can sit for up to a month before even coming to market, which makes them darn old. It reminded me of reading about eggs.

So other than feeling for a soft one, looking for wrinkles or already seeing eyes, the only way to tell if they are really old is if they are too cheap?
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 11:38 AM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
Where were they grown?

If these potatoes have been grown in the north they have been stored in a low oxygen cold storage to preserve them since they were harvested last fall. Once removed from storage and into a warmer environment they think it is spring and start to grow.
Bingo!
Checking for where they were grown will give me another thing to check. Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks Aint Bea

Now, to see if that is listed information or not... the label may only list the distributor, which may or may not be where they were grown, but that will definitely give me something else to look for.
Although I suppose if they were grown in Mexico the way they were stored in the reefer truck might have something to do with it, also... maybe if they were frozen or not on their way here?
And that would be right up the town store's alley to buy something they know is suspect.
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 01:25 PM   #6
Chef Extraordinaire
 
CWS4322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 13,468
The other thing is don't store potatoes near onions. They don't like each other. I transfer "too good to be true priced" potatoes (which I buy for the dogs--don't want to feed all the homegrown potatoes to the dogs!) to a clean burlap bag and then store in a cool, dark dry space.
__________________
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
https://www.discusscooking.com/forums...les-76125.html
CWS4322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 01:28 PM   #7
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Yeah, I learned the potatoes and onions long ago. Talk about making a potato go rancid.
I'll keep a lookout for a burlap sack. If it will gain me a few more days it will be worth it. Thanks for the tip.
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 01:37 PM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
 
CWS4322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 13,468
Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
Yeah, I learned the potatoes and onions long ago. Talk about making a potato go rancid.
I'll keep a lookout for a burlap sack. If it will gain me a few more days it will be worth it. Thanks for the tip.
You can buy burlap at fabric stores and sew your own <g>. I don't remember where I got the burlap sacks...but I love them. I harden the potatoes and carrots from the garden for a couple of days in the sun (on old window screens--out in the sun during the day, in at night--but I think you can do this in sunny windows too) and then pack the potatoes in the clean burlap sacks and the carrots in sawdust. I am just finishing the potatoes from last summer. Maybe the potatoes weren't hardened off enough before being put into storage and if it is sunny out and above freezing, you could harden them for afternoon/day on the picnic table?

I get my chicken feed in those "fake" burlap sacks (the white ones). The feed store fills the bag, so maybe that would be a place to get a "burlap" sack? These bags also allow air flow. I take my chicken feed sacks, cut them in half, and use them under the grass clipping mulch on the garden.
__________________
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
https://www.discusscooking.com/forums...les-76125.html
CWS4322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 01:51 PM   #9
Certified Cake Maniac
 
LPBeier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Great "Wet" North
Posts: 20,250
Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
Thanks for fixing my typo

Laurie, I even did a search because I've never seen spuds turn so quickly and all that was said was they were old. And they can sit for up to a month before even coming to market, which makes them darn old. It reminded me of reading about eggs.

So other than feeling for a soft one, looking for wrinkles or already seeing eyes, the only way to tell if they are really old is if they are too cheap?
This is going to sound really strange and I am sure others may not agree, but I have learned a lot about the smell of food - I can tell when something is done by it's smell faster than looking at it, sticking in a thermometer or toothpick or cutting in. This is the same (for me) for produce. If the potatoes smell strong and very earthy, unless they are covered in dirt they are probably old. The bags should have holes in them so you should be able to smell them (and not look too obvious about it). I do this with broccoli and many other veggies as well.
__________________
Living gluten/dairy/sugar/fat/caffeine-free and loving it!
LPBeier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 01:56 PM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
CWS4322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 13,468
Quote:
Originally Posted by LPBeier View Post
This is going to sound really strange and I am sure others may not agree, but I have learned a lot about the smell of food - I can tell when something is done by it's smell faster than looking at it, sticking in a thermometer or toothpick or cutting in. This is the same (for me) for produce. If the potatoes smell strong and very earthy, unless they are covered in dirt they are probably old. The bags should have holes in them so you should be able to smell them (and not look too obvious about it). I do this with broccoli and many other veggies as well.
LP--I am with you on that. I have a very sensitive sense of smell...I can tell if an Addisonian dog is "off" re meds or if a dog's kidney levels are too high. My sense of smell drives me crazy at times. I can also tell if people are coming down with a cold or throat infection.
__________________
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
https://www.discusscooking.com/forums...les-76125.html
CWS4322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 02:24 PM   #11
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
CW, did you really just say I could sew my own burlap sacks?
OK, that is fitting since I just told you to add meat to jazz up a vegetarian lasagna

Earthy smell. Yes they did. Not nearly as earthy as some others I have bought. A while back I threw some out that REALLY smelled earthy. I couldn't stand the smell of them even after peeling. They did not go bad like these ones did though. But these defeinitely smelled earthy.
Good tip.

I am armed with a few more things on my checklist when I buy my spuds now.
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 03:46 PM   #12
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 22,648
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
It's spring. Unless those potatoes are from some distance away, they were harvested last fall. Of course they are old.

I notice the difference this time of year with cabbage and beets too.
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 03:48 PM   #13
Chef Extraordinaire
 
CWS4322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 13,468
Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
CW, did you really just say I could sew my own burlap sacks?
OK, that is fitting since I just told you to add meat to jazz up a vegetarian lasagna

Earthy smell. Yes they did. Not nearly as earthy as some others I have bought. A while back I threw some out that REALLY smelled earthy. I couldn't stand the smell of them even after peeling. They did not go bad like these ones did though. But these defeinitely smelled earthy.
Good tip.

I am armed with a few more things on my checklist when I buy my spuds now.
Yup--you can sew your own burlap sacks <g>. And I can't add meat to the lasagne because my friend is a vegetarian (and allergic to beans and soy--including tofu, so can't add those either). I have a whole lot of veggies to incorporate in the sauce and layers. We'll see. She's bringing the wine, so maybe it won't matter. But you can bet I am eating meat on Sunday!
__________________
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
https://www.discusscooking.com/forums...les-76125.html
CWS4322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 04:41 PM   #14
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
It's spring. Unless those potatoes are from some distance away, they were harvested last fall. Of course they are old.

I notice the difference this time of year with cabbage and beets too.
The thing that made these stand out was how quickly they started growing eyes and the size of those eyes. Moreso that any other potatoes I've bought this time of year.
I haven't seen Kleenex posting any information on them injecting hormones into potatoes, so I guess I'm safe
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 04:50 PM   #15
Hospitality Queen
 
jkath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Southern California
Posts: 11,448
Pacanis - please take a read - potatoes are one of the top 12 most contaminated with pesticides:
Organic.org - The "Dirty Dozen"

FWIW: I get mine at the Farmers Market each week and they last for a really long time before they can see ;)
__________________
Come visit my foodie blog: www.SockmonkeysKitchen.com
This week's topic: Pinterest and Potatoes
jkath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 04:58 PM   #16
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 22,648
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkath View Post
Pacanis - please take a read - potatoes are one of the top 12 most contaminated with pesticides:
Organic.org - The "Dirty Dozen"

FWIW: I get mine at the Farmers Market each week and they last for a really long time before they can see ;)
They even have apps for Android and iPhone. I like being able to check that stuff in the store. I have it pretty well memorized, but they update and stuff moves around on the list.
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 04:58 PM   #17
Chef Extraordinaire
 
buckytom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: My mountain
Posts: 21,539
aren't potatoes all about the timing of harvest, and then the exact temp and environment that they are stored to sort of ripen?

that's not the right word for it, but i remember seeing something about the specifics of how spuds are processed before going to the market.

maybe you got a poorly handled bunch, and that's why they were on sale., pacnar lofbruk.
__________________
The past is gone it's all been said.
So here's to what the future brings,
I know tomorrow you'll find better things
buckytom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 05:12 PM   #18
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkath View Post
Pacanis - please take a read - potatoes are one of the top 12 most contaminated with pesticides:
Organic.org - The "Dirty Dozen"

FWIW: I get mine at the Farmers Market each week and they last for a really long time before they can see ;)
I'm not sure what I'm supposed to read. The list? I believed you when you said potatoes were on the list
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2013, 07:57 AM   #19
Master Chef
 
Snip 13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Brakpan, South Africa
Posts: 5,586
Quote:
Originally Posted by LPBeier View Post
This is going to sound really strange and I am sure others may not agree, but I have learned a lot about the smell of food - I can tell when something is done by it's smell faster than looking at it, sticking in a thermometer or toothpick or cutting in. This is the same (for me) for produce. If the potatoes smell strong and very earthy, unless they are covered in dirt they are probably old. The bags should have holes in them so you should be able to smell them (and not look too obvious about it). I do this with broccoli and many other veggies as well.
I agree fully! I do the sniff test with everything I buy
If there are holes poked into packaging of meat, fruit or veg chances are I was in the store
__________________
Odette
"I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass."

"I hear voices and they don't like you "
Snip 13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2013, 12:57 PM   #20
Assistant Cook
 
Atomic76's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Cleveland
Posts: 6
Just a suggestion - you could prep the potatoes and freeze them for future use. If I had a bunch of potatoes that were going to go bad soon, I would probably peel, chop and par-boil a bunch of them for home fries and french fries. Even if you didn't use them for that, they would still work for stews or mashed potatoes.
__________________

Atomic76 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
potatoes

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
×