Scabby Potato

What To Do With A Scabby Spud

Got a scabby potato?

Don’t throw it out! Potato scab is a common, superficial russeting condition that appears as dark patches on the potato’s skin. But the blemish is purely cosmetic. Beneath the surface, these are tasty taters!

“Boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew.”
—Samwise Gamgee

Scabby Spud Features

  • Unsightly spud on the outside, yummy potato on the inside
  • Awesome in a vaguely unattractive sort of way
  • Not afraid to balk at society’s conventions of fetching good looks in a tuberous root vegetable

What is Potato Scab?

Potato scab is a common tuber disease that affects potato crops all over the world. It appears as superficial dark brown patches that may affect just a small portion of the potato surface, or may completely cover it.

Potato scab is purely cosmetic. It has no affect on the potato other than to make it less marketable. (Please don’t talk about this around the potatoes themselves. Spuds are so sensitive.)

Tips and Tidbits

You’ve probably eaten scads of scabby potatoes and didn’t even know it. Commercially, they’re made into French fries and potato chips.

For home use, they’re perfect for just about anything, including boiling, baking, and frying. Be aware that the scabbing simply makes them a bit more difficult to peel.

We recommend storing potatoes bagged and unwashed in a dark, cool space, 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Store in the fall and they should last you well into winter.

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Ken Davis

Ken Davis is the Co-op's senior copywriter. Email him at