Baked potato

Baked potato

A baked potato, also known as a jacket potato, is the edible result of baking a potato. When well cooked a baked potato has a fluffy interior, but a crispy skin.

Description

Potatoes can be baked in a conventional oven convection oven, a microwave oven, on a grill, or on/in an open fire. Some restaurants use specialist ovens designed specifically to cook large numbers of potatoes, and keep them warm ready for service.

Prior to cooking the potato is cleaned, and possibly basted with oil or butter, and/or salt. Pricking the potato with a fork or knife allows air to escape during the cooking process. They have also been claimed to explode and should be eaten/cooked with caution.

It takes between one and two hours to bake a potato in a conventional oven. Microwaving takes about six minutes but does not generally produce a crisp skin.

Some varieties of potato are more suitable for baking than others, due to both their size and consistency. Popular varieties used for baking include Russet and the King Edward potato.

Wrapping the potato in aluminium foil before cooking in a standard oven will help to retain moisture, while leaving it unwrapped will create a crispy skin. When cooking over an open fire or in the coals of a grill requires wrapping the potato in a jacket of foil to prevent burning. A baked potato is fully cooked when its internal temperature reaches 99 °C (210 °F).

Once a potato has been baked, some people remove the skin and eat only the softer and moister interior, while others enjoy the taste and texture of the crispy skin. From a nutrition standpoint, a large percent of the vitamins, minerals, and trace elements in a potato are found within or immediately below the skin. However, any remnants of pesticides, fungicides or chemical coatings left over from cultivation are likely to be found there as well. Potatoes baked in their skins may lose between 20 to 40% of their Vitamin C content because heating in air is slow and vitamin inactivation can continue for a long time. Small potatoes bake more quickly than large ones and therefore retain more of their Vitamin C. [cite web
url = http://www.potatoesforschools.org.uk/FFT/Explore/preparation.html
title = Potatoes for schools
accessdate = 2007-12-19
] Despite the popular misconception that potatoes are fattening, baked potatoes can be used as part of a healthy diet. [cite book
last = Thomas
first = Briony
coauthors =
title = Manual of Dietetic Practice
publisher = Wiley-Blackwell
date = 2007 (4th Ed)
location =
pages = page 183
id = ISBN 1405135255
]

Variations

Some people bake their potatoes and then scoop out the interior, leaving the skin as a shell. The white interior flesh is then mixed with various other food items such as cheese, butter, cream and bacon bits. This mixture is then spooned back into the skin shells and they are replaced in the oven to warm through. These are known variously as loaded potato skins, filled potatoes and twice baked potatoes.

Regional variations

United Kingdom

The baked potato has been a long time favorite in the UK. In the mid 1800s, the potato was sold on the streets by hawkers during the autumn and winter months. In London, it was estimated that some 10 tons of baked potatoes were sold each day by this method. [cite book
last = Mayhew
first = Henry
coauthors = Neuburg,Victor E.
title = London labour and the London poor
publisher = Penguin Classics (reprinted 1985)
date = 1861
location =
pages = Page 174-176
id = ISBN 0140432418
] Guy Fawkes Night is a traditional time to eat baked potatoes, usually ones baked in the glowing embers of a bonfire. [cite book
last = Mason
first = Laura
coauthors =
title = Food Culture in Great Britain
publisher = Greenwood Press
date = 2004
location =
pages = page 187
id = ISBN 031332798X
]

As part of the upsurge for more healthy fast food, the baked potato has again taken to the street of the UK both in mobile units like the 'Big Ben' Mobile Oven and restaurants. A company by the name of Spud U Like has for many years sold baked potatoes with a variety of fillings or toppings including baked beans, chili, chicken tikka, prawn cocktail, tuna, coleslaw and cheese. [cite web
url = http://www.spudulike.co.uk/food/index.htm
title = Spud U Like official web site
accessdate = 2007-12-19
]

North America

Many restaurants serve baked potatoes with sides (commonly referred to as "fixings" or "toppings") such as butter, sour cream, chives, green onions, shredded cheese, bacon bits, and possibly salmon. These potatoes are a side item to a steak dinner, or some similar entree.

Putting oil and then coarse salt on a potato before baking will make it much more fluffy. Many restaurants do this as well.

In the South, all kinds of variations exist on the stuffed "spud". Usually delis serve them, such as Jason's Deli or McAlister's Deli. One may stuff with chili con carne, broccoli cheese soup, shrimp gumbo, crawfish etouffee, barbecue, such as pulled pork or chipped beef brisket, chicken fried steak with cream gravy and cheddar, or the fried chicken with chicken strips, cream gravy, and cheddar cheese, also the grilled chicken with cheddar cheese and ranch dressing. Also often served like the carne asada fries, but in a baked potato instead of fries, with the fajita or taco meat.

The spud is a baked potato big enough for a meal without any side dishes.

One famous baked potato was that served by the Northern Pacific Railroad. [cite book
last = Porterfield
first = James D.
coauthors =
title = Dining By Rail: The History and Recipes of America's Golden Age of Railroad Cuisine
publisher = Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
date = 1998
location =
pages = page 257
id = ISBN 0312187114
] The song "Great Big Baked Potato" (words by N.R. Streeter and H. Caldwell ; Music by Oliver George) was written about this potato. [cite web
url = http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/cgi-bin/sheetmusic.pl?WTGreatB&WesternTrails&main
title = Great Big Baked Potato - music and lyrics
accessdate = 2007-12-19
]

Turkey

Kumpir (Kumpir is Albanian for "Potato"), a baked potato with various fillings, is a popular fast food in Turkey. [cite web
url = http://www.masalcafe.com/html/kumpir.cfm
title = Masal Cafe
accessdate = 2007-12-19
] In its basic form, it is made with potatoes that are wrapped with aluminum foil and baked in special ovens. The potatoes are cut straight from the middle and the insides are mixed with unsalted butter and puréed with kaşar cheese. [cite web
url = http://www.turkishculture.org/pages.php?ParentID=11&ID=312
title = Turkish cuture : cheese
accessdate = 2007-12-19
] However, all sorts of foods can be added to the potato: mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, sweetcorn, sliced green and black olives, sausage slices, carrots, steamed peas, mushrooms and Russian salad. The cafés in Ortaköy, İstanbul make kumpir that are especially popular with the tourists and offer even more ingredients.Fact|date=February 2008

Russia

Though baked potato is not considered a traditional Russian dish, it has recently been gaining popularity as a fast food.

References

External links

* [http://www.victorianovens.co.uk/menu_suggestions.html Baked Potato Recipes from 28 years of experience]
* [http://www.kingedward.co.uk/page/recipes Potato recipes]
* [http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_128,00.html Food Network: The Baked Potato]
* [http://www.retrofoodrecipes.com/baked_potato.html Another way to Bake A Potato]
* [http://www.all-about-potatoes.com/baked-potatoes.html How To Bake Potatoes]


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