Are Red Potatoes Painted? (REAL Or DYED!)

No, red potatoes are real potatoes that acquire the red color over time due to being rich in pigments that boost antioxidants and anti-inflammatories in potatoes.

Red potatoes, despite their peculiar appearance, are very nutritious and healthy to eat because of their thinner skin compared to regular yellow potatoes, along with the presence of anthocyanins.

But the question is, whether these potatoes are naturally red, or are they painted over. If so, how do you differentiate between red potatoes and regular yellow ones?

This is what we will primarily discuss in this article. We will also see if eating these red potatoes makes one sick or if they should be in your diet because of their nutrition levels.

We will not go into the biological explanation of the potatoes’ appearance. Still, we will discuss how good red potatoes are or if they lose a little bit of their color when cooked or boiled. So, to know more about them, keep reading this article.

Are Red Potatoes Real Or Painted?

Are Red Potatoes Painted?

Red potatoes are real and are also called Red Bliss Potatoes. They are naturally richer in Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants and have zero sodium and cholesterol.

Red potatoes are medium-sized, round potatoes with thinner skins than the general yellow potatoes: the red skin and white flesh on the inside increase the curiosity about this particular kind of potato.

The thin skin and the flesh of red potatoes contain less starch, making them waxy and firm when cooked.

On the other hand, brown russet potatoes or the Idaho potatoes, primarily native to South America, can be found everywhere and are generally known as the standard yellow potatoes.

These potatoes are the best for mashed potato dishes, not the red ones.

However, due to their firm nature, red potatoes can be used as the primary carbohydrate source in soups, stews, boiling, roasting, potato salad, and casseroles.

Their enormous impact on health is one of the other reasons why people see it as a premium root vegetable.

However, there have been cases where ordinary yellow potatoes have been chemically dyed with red color to make their appearance look like the Red Bliss Potatoes.

FDA acknowledges that there is no way of knowing this problem’s widespread. Although everyone denies adulterating fruits and vegetables with colorants, you can always see small red potatoes bought at a store whose dye came off after they were rinsed.

Catherine Bailey from Food and Drug Administration reported that adding color to a fruit or vegetable increases the economic value of the product. 

This is why it is advised only to buy produce shipped interstate under the regulations of the FDA and approved by them. That way, the chances of adulteration drop by 70%.

So, it is advised to double-check if the red potatoes you are buying are painted on or are naturally produced.

What Is The Difference Between Red Potatoes And Regular Yellow Potatoes?

Red potatoes have thin, red-colored skin; on the other hand, regular yellow or brown potatoes have brown skin.

Though red potatoes have less starch than regular ones, they are full of sugar and are naturally gluten-free. 

The skin of red potatoes is thin and full of nutrients like fiber, vitamins, iron, and potassium which doesn’t detract from the taste or texture. This means it is easier and is generally consumed with the skin on, meaning more intake of nutrients too.

Besides, red potatoes are best for dishes like salads that require the firmness of potatoes. Meanwhile, regular yellow-brown potatoes are good for mashes.

Following is a table to help you in differentiating between red and regular potatoes.

Known as Red Bliss PotatoesKnown as Brown Russet Potatoes
Medium-sized potatoes with thin red skin and white fleshSmall to large-sized potatoes with brown or yellow skin and tan flesh
Waxy, less starchy, more sugaryStarchy inside and slightly dense
Generally cooked with skin as they are full of nutrientsCooked without skin as it is thicker (but depends on preference) 
Better pan-fried, steamed, or grilled because of its firm textureBetter fried, baked, mashed, or roasted because of the creamier texture

Based on the nutrition levels, too, red potatoes are better than the regular yellow ones, mainly because of the thin, nutrient-filled skins loaded with fiber, B vitamins, iron, and potassium.

Can Red Potatoes Make You Sick?

Red potatoes are healthier than the standard yellow potatoes and will not make you sick.

Red potatoes are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories like anthocyanins. They are also loaded with fiber, B vitamins, especially B3 and B6, iron, and potassium, which makes them better than the regular yellow ones.

However, while eating these potatoes, pay attention that you have not accidentally cooked a red potato that has gone bad.

Rotten potatoes contain high levels of solanine and can cause solanine poisoning. This can cause toxicity through cell disruption leading to gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Headache, flushing, confusion, and fever are also other common symptoms. 

There have been a few deaths reported due to solanine poisoning. However, it generally lasts for a couple of days only.

Mild solanine poisoning should last only 24 hours, but you should seek medical help.

Do Red Potatoes Lose Color When Cooked?

Yes, red potatoes lose a bit of color when cooked, but they will remain red/pink until the end.

The whole red-colored potatoes remain extra red or pink after being cooked, compared to when they are uncooked.

Regular yellow potatoes also lighten in color when cooked; however, the difference is not that noticeable because of their color.

So, if you did lose the color of the red potatoes while cooking them, do not panic. As long as they do not lose their color while washing them, they are authentic red potatoes and are suitable for consumption too.

Final Remarks

This article discussed whether the red potatoes are real or painted over. We also discussed how different they are from the regular yellow ones commonly found in every grocery store.

Let’s briefly go over this topic once again.

Are red potatoes painted? No, red potatoes are naturally red and acquire color over time due to being rich in pigments that boost the richness of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories in potatoes.