Maybe it's because they're cheap. Or because we can have them anytime we want, no matter the season. Or maybe it's because potatoes are so lumpy and unglamorous that we take them for granted all year long. But from April, when we come down with ramp fever, through September, when we lose it over tomatoes, potatoes are always there for us.
In the dead of winter, we like them hot and cheesy.
Pommes aligot, a mashed potato enriched with some cream and plenty of melted Tomme (see the recipe), may just be one of the finest and cheesiest ways to eat potatoes.
When the classic, rib-sticking French potato dish from Auvergne is made properly, and beaten with enough cheese, a spoonful of the glorious, rustic mash can stretch out way above the pot like a gorgeous, garlic-scented ribbon.
The spectacle is impressive, but one bite and it's clear why this dish is so essential to the potato canon.
And of course the skins should never go to waste. Sure they've got a reputation as trashy bar food, but cut them up with a little care and pile them up with pork belly, kimchi, and cheese (see the recipe) and you won't hear any complaints.
When we can get our hands on beautiful fingerlings, a quick brine (see the recipe) is a genius way to have a meal at the ready.
Just simmer the potatoes in an herb-packed brine until they're tender, then store them in the fridge. They'll wait for you there, infused all the way through with that deliciously sweet and savory flavor. Fry eggs and you've got breakfast. Or elevenses. Or dinner.
Whenever you're hungry, potatoes are there for you.