The potato is a vegetable crop but is classified nutritionally as a starchy food. Particular natural properties of Kalamata potatoes include clean appearance, uniform tubers, absence of diseases and pest attacks, and normal shape. Because they are harvested early, Kalamata potatoes have a special commercial value and are high in demand. The main varieties cultivated in the area of Kalamata (90% of the production) are Spunta, Liseta, Alaska, Voyager, Labadia, Arnova, Fabula and Mondial. Other varieties account to less than 10% of the total production. Potato production first appeared in Methoni in 1828 when just before departing the French started cultivating potatoes in the area.
The nutritional value of the potato is attributed to the fact that it provides the human body with significant amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamin C and iron. Carbohydrates constitute approximately 75% of their total dry weight and average protein content is 1.6-2.1g/100g. New research findings also attribute anticancer properties to the potato. Its skin, in particular, exhibits strong antioxidant activity against free radicals, which promote cancer activity. The only downside is its high glycemic index, which gradually increases blood sugar levels. Nutritionally, potatoes are similar to processed cereals. It is therefore recommended that potato consumption be about 3 small servings (about 1.5 restaurant serving per week).