Elizabeth from Cambridge e-mailed to ask, “The potatoes I keep loosely in a plastic bag in a cupboard go rotten with regularity. Dear Kitchen Shrink, should I refrigerate them? Put them in a bowl? Change my purveyer?”
Potatoes keep best when placed in a well-ventilated container and stored in a dry location, away from sunlight, and at temperatures between 45 and 55 degrees F. That isn’t too easy to find in most homes today but if you place them in a paper bag, cardboard box, or bowl (not in a plastic bag) and keep them in the coolest part of the kitchen or a dry part of your basement, it should help their longevity. If you are shopping for a small family, buy only enough potatoes for a week at a time. Refrigerator temperature is a bit too cool for potatoes and tends to increase their sweetness making them brown very quickly when fried. You can find more information at potatopro.com.