Russet, red, white, purple and fingerling are some types of potatoes. While there are more than 100 varieties available to buy in the United States, the Andean highlands in Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru are home to roughly 4,000 varieties.
Russet is an all-purpose potato whose mild flavor lends itself to roasting, mashing, frying and baking. The waxy, creamy texture of red potatoes gives them a resiliency that stands up to soups, stews and salad. When roasted, they are buttery and sweet. The slightly nutty flavor of purple and blue potatoes pairs well with green salad flavors.
In the Andean Highlands, indigenous farmers cultivate native potato varieties with little or no use of agrochemicals. Many of the varieties are associated with a particular community, its particular heritage and hyper-local subsistence culture.