why do potatoes turn brown when cut
cyanides inhibit the reaction, so you will not have it (or only to a lesser degree) with manioc (cassava)? Good question. I don t know if cassava makes the browning enzyme at all. If it does it may have a relatively cyanide-proof version. It might also be that the cyanide producing enzyme doesn t get activated at the same time and place as the browning one. is it the same enzyme that makes apples turn brown? Again, the simple answer is that I don t know, I know it s a similar one. To me it appears like a different shade of brown, and in different shapes (more uniform with apples, more or less star shaped with potatoes.
The different colour may be due to differences in the enzyme, the acidity or the substrate. Apples are more acid and have higher tannin levels. The shape is a matter of where the plant produces the enzymes.
The way to keep prepped potatoes from turning brown is to submerge them in cold water. This is a very handy trick that will serve you best when used as follows: в The longest potatoes should sit in water is overnight. в If keeping potatoes in water for more than an hour, refrigerate. в Small cuts, like diced potatoes, get waterlogged faster, so are best kept in cold water for a short time, like while you prep other ingredients. в Bigger cuts can hang out happily in water for 8-12 hours.
One of the best ways to use this trick is when making вyou donвt have to cut them small and youвll be adding liquid anyway. In the morning, put peeled, quartered potatoes in a pot of cold water and refrigerate; when itвs time for dinner, just put the pot on the stovetop and fire it up! в Donвt keep shredded potatoes in water.
Such a fine cut takes on water quickly and is typically cooked until golden (think latkes), so none of that discoloration will show anyway. в If your dish depends on the most crisp exterior (like pommes Anna) or requires your potatoes to give off very little moisture (like a gratin with other water-heavy veggies) your best bet is to cut those tubers right before use.
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