The fruit of the earth, pomme de terre, with hundreds of varieties and myriad uses. When mashing or ricing, remember to cook the potatoes first. The potato is a member of the nightshade family, and is not related to yams (Dioscoreaceae family) and sweet potatoes (morning-glory family), which are usually much harder before cooking. Don't miss the opportunity to add a decorative touch to the potatoes you are serving. Whether it's making interesting shapes using garnishing tools, or piping mashed potatoes through a decorating bag. An apple wedger works well to cut medium size potatoes into even wedges.