Blaine Tibbetts’ mammoth Kennebec potato pictured in the Morning Sentinel on Nov. 14 was truly amazing, but I hope he doesn’t try to eat it unless he cuts off a lot of that green skin.

The potato is a member of the nightshade family and, as any old-time gardener will tell you, the green skin color, although caused by the development of chlorophyll, is a good indicator of the presence of poisonous alkaloids.

However, there’s good news. As Harold McGee puts it in “On Food and Cooking”, most of the alkaloids in a green potato are concentrated within one-sixteenth of an inch of the surface so peeling deeply can make it safe to eat.

Of course, once you’ve done enough surgery to get rid of the green, you’ve also lost nutrients.

Sometimes ya cain’t hardly win.

Jean Ann Pollard


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