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Take a sound-looking potato of any variety; pay but little attention to its outward appearance; cut or break it in two, crosswise, and examine the cut surface. If it appears watery to such a degree that a slight pressure would cause water to fall off in drops, reject it, as it would be of little use for the table. A good potato should be of a light cream-color, and when rubbed together a white froth should appear round the edges and surface of the cut, which indicates the presence of starch. The more starch in the potato, the more it will froth; consequently the more froth on the potato the better it will be when cooked. The strength of its starchy properties may be tested by releasing the hold of one end, and if it clings to the other, the potato is a good one. These are the general principles followed by potato-buyers, and they are usually to be fully relied upon. About one seventh part of the potato is nutritious, and this is chiefly farinaceous, and is accompanied by no inconsiderable portion of saline matter, more especially of potassa, which renders it highly antiscorbutic, and a powerful corrective of the grossness of animal food. When forming part of a mixed diet, no substance is more wholesome than the potato. Even the wild potato found in the Yellowstone Country is thought one of the best of edible wild roots.


Breakfast Dainties (1885).


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