Potato cultivars and suitable cooking methods

Here are the three most common potato categories in SA and how to cook them.

Potatoes South Africa has classified spuds into three categories, each suitable for a specific cooking method.

Some supermarkets and vegetable shops are now labelling potatoes with the name of the variety. This is proving helpful when deciding what type to buy for a specific dish.


(Cultivars include Mondial, Fabula and BP13)

Waxy potatoes have a high moisture content and a low starch content. During boiling, they stay firm and keep their shape, which makes them ideal for any dish where you don’t want the potato to break up, such as a potato salad.

They are not suitable for cooking in a microwave and not suitable for mashing. They can be used for chips but will make a “slap” chip and not a crisp chip.

Potato Salad


This potato salad is best when made the night before, allowing the flavours to mix.


8 medium waxy potatoes, cooked and diced
1 ½ cups mayonnaise
2 Tblsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tblsp sugar
1 Tblsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
2 celery ribs, sliced
½ cup finely chopped red onion
5 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
cayenne pepper


  • Place diced cooked potatoes in a large bowl.
  • Mix mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper in another bowl.
  • Add this mixture to the potatoes.
  • Add celery and onions, mix well.
  • Stir in chopped eggs.
  • Sprinkle cayenne pepper on top before serving.


(Cultivars include BP1, VDP, Fianna, Valor, and Sifra aka Bianca)

These potatoes are somewhat moist with a slightly floury texture. They retain their shape during cooking and can be used for all cooking methods. These are the variety most commonly available in supermarkets.


(UTD – Up to Date, Caren, Darius and Avalanche)

This variety has a low moisture content and a high starch content. They do not retain their shape when boiled and are excellent for making mash. They also make the best chips and roast potatoes, which are crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy inside.

Make sure the packaging says: Suitable for Mash or Baking.

Mash with garlic and parmesan



5-6 large floury potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
½ cup milk
2 Tblsp butter
1 tsp garlic salt
½  cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tblsp fresh chives, chopped
salt and pepper to taste


  • Peel and dice potatoes. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 25 minutes.
  • Drain, add the butter and milk and mash the potatoes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and combine until smooth and lump free.



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