[Sca-cooks] Accidental sourdough, krauting failure and random stuff

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Tue Dec 15 04:57:33 PST 2009

On Dec 15, 2009, at 5:49 AM, Volker Bach wrote:

> And a final OOP question: does anyone know whether potato strains have changed greatly in the past 40 or so years? I tried recipes from the 1940s-1960s for potato-based dumplings, pie crust and bread, and I always need massively more flour than the recipes say before the dough starts becoming viable.. I bought 'mealy' potatos, but they didn't feel very mealy. Is it just a matter of 'excrement occurs' or is it down to the new strains? Mealy is out of fashion, I gather.

My own experience with the typical Idaho-In-Name-Only russet baking-type potato (which is the preferred variety around here for most purposes and for various reasons) is that they are a lot moister than they used to be.

I don't know if it's that the growing season is shorter, something on a chemical level is happening to the starches in storage, or they're being stored for shorter periods between harvest and purchase (a.k.a. travelling faster) and desiccating less in the process. The skins of older potatoes seem to be thinner than I remember them, too.

For whatever reason, there seems to be less structural difference between "old" and "new" potatoes than there used to be.


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls, when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's bellies."
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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