I love potatoes, they are particularly good with fish and my special love (apart from my wife) marinated herring, where the ridiculously good garlic herring is my absolute favorite (the only problem with that is that they only sell it in ridiculously small jars, but I will soon try to make my own, which will correlate well with my planned roasted garlic aioli experiments).
When I was a kid, my parents had a “root cellar” under the house, where they stored many things. They used to buy potatoes in 50 Kg sacks, and there was never a problem with growth during storage.
Since then I have had a problem to store potatoes as I’ve never had access to a root cellar after that. Thus, only been able to buy very small quantities of potatoes, so they won’t start growing when stored.
However, a friend said that you just need to dig a sufficient deep hole in the ground, and then I remembered about the calculations our physics teacher at the university had made on root cellars. When they are sufficiently deep, there will become a phase lag of the heat conduction between the summer heating and the winter cooling that evens out depending of the deep and the slow heat conduction, so the cellar will keep an almost constant temperature around the year. However, I couldn’t find such a brief and elegant solution which our physics teacher provided, but I found , this paper: “Exponential sinusoidal model for predicting temperature inside underground wine cellars from a Spanish region“, which deals with mathematical modelling to predict the year around temperature in a wine cellar. For those who are more interested in a practical approach, I found this: “Root Cellars 101 – Root Cellar Design, Use and Mistakes to Avoid“.
Anyway, even if I have the ability to make the calculations needed it also needs some effort to build such a cellar, and as I’m into technology and a geek, as well as a researcher and have a plethora of other high priority projects, I tried to find what the actual optimal conditions for storing potatoes are. I finally found the very simple criterions:
1. temperature between 4℃-8℃.
2. dark place.
3. moisture climate.
OK, as we actually have a fridge earlier used for commercial sale, which has several levels, I purchased a combined hygrometer/thermometer which I placed at different levels of the fridge.
I concluded that the upper level is excellent for storing things like Crémant and Champagne, and also concluded that the moisture range for the bottom level made the meter to overflow (outside measurable range), but the second level was just perfect for potatoes❣
OK, when I just took this picture it was as high as 7.6℃ but this is rare, it is usually between 4-6℃, here with a moisture level of 71%, but often at like 84%.
Best potato wishes!