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The right way to store potatoes

Food By Rachel Murugi
Inspect your potatoes before storing them (Photo: Shutterstock)

Have you ever heard that one bad potato can ruin the whole sack? Even if this is something used metaphorically to refer to toxic people who should be removed from a group, it also applies to actual potatoes. 

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Failing to store potatoes well can expose them to moisture which can make them either rot or start growing. Read on to know how to ensure your potatoes are fresh and flavorful even after months.

1. Inspect them first

If you've bought potatoes that you're not preparing in a day, it’s imperative to go inspect them, checking for sprouting, have pest marks, spots or shovel damage as all these are entry points to bacteria and rotting.

2. Potatoes need to breathe

Yes, potatoes to be properly aerated. You can enable the easy flow of air by using paper bags, open sacs, mesh bags or baskets. This will help keep the potatoes fresher for longer.

3. Keep them away from direct sunlight

Potatoes don't benefit from light, because you'll be providing one of the germination conditions. Remember, you're meant to avoid sprouting at all costs. Store them in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid putting potatoes in the refrigerator since the fridge’s very cool temperatures turn the potato starch into sugar altering the flavor.

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Keep potatoes in an basket that allows air to flow through them (Photo: Shutterstock)

4. Avoid washing before storing

Many at times you buy potatoes with traces of soil. If you intend to store them and the soil is too much, brush off the excess soil and then store. If the soil is sticky, say with clay soil, you can wash them but 

5. Don’t keep potatoes and onions together

Potatoes and onions release gases that the other absorbs which can lead to overripening. Their flavour can also be altered. Store them in different baskets preferably far from each other.

6. Allow potatoes to cure before storage

This is especially so if the potatoes are homegrown. Give them time and possibly spray some growth inhibitors which are available for sale at the agrovet. Spraying your potatoes with this will limit their growth.

You can now have your potatoes for months as long as you constantly check on them.

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