Russets are long and large with a thick, rough, skin. A high-starch potato, with a flesh that’s snowy white and very dry, they are the quintessential baking potato. They also make first-rate mashed potatoes–soft and light and able to absorb an impressive amount of liquid or other enrichments. They’re also delicious baked in a creamy gratin, and they make the best french fries. Where they don’t shine is in preparations that call for boiling, as in most potato salads. And though russets make delicious pureed soups, it’s not a good idea to use them in any soup where you want the potatoes to stay in small, intact chunks.