Potatoes Dauphinoise, a French Tradition
The humble potato originated in Peru and the extreme western portion of Bolivia. It is an essential crop in Europe (especially eastern and central Europe), where per capita production is still the highest in the world, but the most rapid expansion over the past few decades has occurred in southern and eastern Asia. China is now the world’s largest potato-producing country, and nearly a third of the world’s potatoes are harvested in China and India.
Floury, or mealy russet (baking) potatoes have more starch (20–22%) than waxy (boiling) potatoes (16–18%) and are better for baking or making french fries. The best varieties for potato salad are Yellow Finn, Yukon Gold, and red potatoes. Their high moisture content will give them a more pleasant texture when cold, and their waxier flesh holds up better to chopping and to tossing with dressing than drier, potatoes, like Russets. Fingerling potatoes are low in starch and tend to be good for potato salads as well as roasting.
In conclusion, before you make your next potato dish, give some thought to which potato will work best for the texture you are trying to achieve.
* Make this a day in advance and reheat for your party. For a variation, layer with cooked mushrooms and truffle cheese.