Kuva: sxc.hu
Kuva: sxc.hu

If you have recently moved to Finland you may have noticed that most Finnish supermarkets carry a wide variety of potatoes.
They are either sold loose or prepackaged in paper or plastic bags. There are three basic types of potato, each one suitable for different purposes in food preparation.
There is a standard potato bag color code which is in use by Finnish grocery retailers. The colors used in this system are green, yellow, and red.
If you don’t yet speak Finnish you may have a hard time cracking the code that determines which bag of potatoes is most suitable for your purposes. With a bit of work on your part, this lesson will assist you with all of your potato shopping needs.

Potatoes found in the green bag are kiinteä, in other words, they are more firm. This means that they have less starch than the potatoes that are packaged in yellow or red bags.
Potatoes classified as kiinteä are suitable for salads, boiling, for use in soups where you would like them to keep from breaking down, and also for pan frying.
You can also use them in casseroles and they can be grated and fried if you want to make hash browns or rosti. Popular varieties of kiinteä potatoes in Finland are Siikli, Hankkijan Timo, and Nicola.

Potatoes found in the red bag are jauhoinen, which means that they are less firm than kiinteä potatoes when cooked. They have a higher starch content, which makes them desirable to use when preparing mashed potatoes, puréed soups, and baked potatoes.
They also work well for baking recipes that require potatoes. Typical varieties of jauhoinen potatoes sold in Finland are Pito, Puikula, and Rosamunda.

Potatoes in the yellow bag are described in Finnish as Yleisperuna, meaning that they are a good potato for general use. They have a higher starch content than kiinteä, although it is not as high as that of jauhoinen potatoes.
They can be boiled, used in soups, casseroles, and roasted as wedges. They can also be used for hashbrowns and baked potatoes. Common yleisperuna varieties in Finland are Van Gogh, Amazone, and Matilda.

Willie Lahti
The writer aims to be the most overeducated bartender in the city of Jyväskylä