Yukon Gold Rush
Marty Martindale

For many, many years people have sought after the perfection of an ideal “all purpose” potato, one capable of yukonbeing delicious and well-textured after any kind of cooking. This “ideal” potato had to withstand dry, as well as wet heat when cooked, also remain waxy and moist. Further, it needed a thin skin and a sweet, pleasing taste.

There are two schools of thought regarding Yukon Gold potatoes. Some believe mashing them or deep frying them turns out a spud not as desirable as a Russet potato. Others feel the Yukon Gold potato is perfectly versatile and up to the challenge of any type cooking or preparation ending in a superior result.

Potatoes are very old and originated in western South America 10,000 years ago. They even freeze-dried them to store them. It wasn’t until a mere 500 years ago that Europeans were introduced to them and found them much to their liking.

Over the years different types of potatoes, in all colors, have been developed and produced. Back in 1953, a scientist, Gary Johnston, at the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph, was on a quest for an “all-purpose” potato. By almost 1960, one of his grad students from Peru, shared knowledge of a South American potato which was a bright yellow with fine flavor. Johnston then went about to capture some of the qualities of the Peruvian spud, but he wished it to be larger with a smoother exterior and grow it in Canada. By 1980, Johnston and his associate presented to the world their “Yukon” potato, later renamed the “Yukon Gold” due to its cheery color.

This variety of potato was named by Gary Johnston and Charlie Bishop. Initially named “Yukon” by Johnston for the Yukon River and gold rush country in Northern Canada. Bishop suggested adding Gold to better reflect the colour and appearance of the potato. Soon the new spud was being grown in the U.S., it was highly popular and commanded a good price.

As a yellow-fleshed cultivar, it was considered a specialty or gourmet variety and didn’t gain popularity until the past few years. Last year, over 160 acres of Yukon Golds were grown in Nebraska and over 1800 acres nationwide.

Yukon Gold potatoes are rich in vitamin C, potassium and iron.

Make it a point to purchase your Yukon Gold potatoes separately and not obscured in plastic bags. Check each for firmness, lack of “eyes,” absence of any shading of green or bruising. Store Yukon Golds away from onions, at moderate room temperature. Do not wash potatoes until ready to prepared. Peeling their light skin is optional.

Serving Suggestions and Go-withs:

  • Bacon
  • Baked
  • Boiled
  • Butter
  • Chives
  • Flavored salt
  • Fried
  • Garlic
  • Grilling
  • Mashed
  • Mashed with greens
  • Olive oil
  • Onions
  • Prosciutto
  • Roasting
  • Rosemary
  • Salads
  • Sautéing
  • Scallions
  • Soup/chowders
  • Sour cream
  • Stock
  • Tomatoes


Below are foodsites with Yukon Gold potato recipes.





Marty Martindale

About Marty Martindale

Foodsite Magazine and Marty aim to help the cooking-challenged avoid dependence on others due to lack of cooking knowhow. We concentrate on quick breakfasts, portable lunches and “good-4-u” night meals. With readily available web translation, the magazine explains separate foods, a little of their history, their nutrition, suggested “go-withs,” serving ideas and links to foodsites with recipes.

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