Fingerling Potatoes remain obscure even as their heirloom cousins such as the yellow fleshed and All-Blue varieties grow in popularity and show up regularly at the local grocers.
Fingerling Potato Characteristics
I like fingerling potatoes because they’re unusual, attractive, tasty, and easy to grow in the backyard garden. Fingerlings are also very productive and display very good disease resistance.
As the name suggests, fingerling potatoes are somewhat finger shaped in appearance. They are smaller, longer, and much narrower than the more common and popular potato varieties.They also have fewer and shallower eyes.
Skin colors range from red, pink, and white, to yellow, purple, or cream colored. The flesh is usually white, yellow, pink, or blue in color.
Cooking with Fingerling Potatoes
Fingerling potatoes are delicious and can be prepared and cooked the same as ordinary potatoes. Some fingerling varieties such as “Russian Banana” are especially suited to creating fantastic potato salads because of their flavor and firm, almost waxy textures.
In addition to making great potato salads, fingerlings are great when boiled, baked, or roasted. They can even be grilled, roasted over coals, or added to vegetable kabobs.
Cultivation and Harvesting
Plant fingerling varieties just as you would plant other varieties, except you can plant the seed tubers whole or cut in half. The growing season is longer for fingerlings and they require more time to mature and size up.
Don’t bother with trying to harvest baby fingerlings, just let them grow until it’s time to harvest mature potatoes when the vines start to die back. After harvesting, brush the dirt off but don’t wash them until you’re ready to cook them, and avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Attractive Fingerling Varieties
Popular fingerling potato varieties include:
- Rose Finn Apple – Great tasting fingerling with rose colored skin and yellow flesh.
- French Fingerling – Another red skinned, yellow fleshed fingerling potato.
- Swedish Peanut – Nutty flavored, golden fleshed potato that is good baked or roasted.
- Russian Banana – These yellow tubers create the ultimate potato salads.
- Red Thumb Fingerling– This one offers red skin covering reddish-pink flesh.
- Purple Peruvian – A slightly finicky, purple fingerling potato variety.
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