New potatoes are freshly harvested young, or small, potatoes. They have paper-thin skins and lots of moisture inside, and they tend to be sweeter than older potatoes (in much the same way that freshly picked corn is so much sweeter than cobs that have been sitting around for a few days). New potatoes are pure perfection in potato salads or simply boiled with a bit of butter and a few chopped herbs. Skins that are starting to flake away from the potato are fine – that’s the price of such youth and delicacy! New potatoes are freshly harvested and a bit of dirt just shows that they really are new potatoes and not just small potatoes.
Store: Because they have such thin skins and high moisture levels, new potatoes don’t keep as well as more mature potatoes. Keep them in a paper bag or loosely wrapped plastic in the fridge and use new potatoes within a few days of buying.
Don’t fall prey to the temptation to wash new potatoes before storing them. That bit of dirt clinging to their skins will actually help keep them fresh and any water on the outside will hasten bruising and softening.