Ontario potatoes are classified as long, round whites, round reds, or sweet.
Long potatoes are the most popular. The interior is white, the skin varies from brown and rough (Russet Burbank, Russet Norkotah and Frontier Russet varieties) to buff-colored and smooth (Shepody).
Round whites are usually large, round or oval with light to medium skin. The flesh is white (Kennebec, Superior and Cherokee) or yellow (Yukon Gold).
Round reds have rosy red, thin, glossy skins, but otherwise they’re similar to round whites. Popular varieties are Chieftain, Rideau, Norland and Sangre.
Potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, a good source of Vitamin C and a source of fibre and folacin.
Along with tomatoes and squash, potatoes are native to South America.
The potato was slow to be adopted by early settlers to North America, particularly by the Puritans, partly because they were profoundly suspicious of any vegetable not mentioned in the Bible.
Potatoes helped save Ireland from famine in 1740 and Prussia in 1774. But Late Blight decimated the fresh potato crop in the 1840s and resulted in massive starvation and immigration to North America.
The potato enabled cheap labour during the European industrial revolution as people could eat self sufficiently on a relatively small piece of land.