An exciting specialist salad variety bred from Pink Fir Apple. Boasting excellent flavour with an attractive “pink blush” and a yellow waxy flesh. Pippa has an oval unusual shape with an unbeatable creamy flavour.
SIMMER, BOIL or STEAM.
An older variety that was originally from Germany and was saved from Extinction, and re-instated because they taste so good. Linda has an unusual oval shape with yellow waxy flesh, and is hard to find in UK. A good all rounder.
ROAST, BAKE, SAUTE
New Season Sharpe’s Express 1900
This attractive pear-shaped bright white new potato is full of flavour, and has a floury flesh. Sharpe’s Express was introduced in 1900 by Charles Sharpe of Sleaford Lincolnshire.
Boil, Roast or Steam
New Season Aura 1951
Aura is a pretty, pale yellow potato and renowned for the wonderful flavour and firm cooking characteristics. They have an interesting and eye catching half moon shape.
Roast, Chip or Steam for mash
Red King Edward 1916
A rare version of the King Edward potato – first appeared as ‘Fellside Hero’ in Northumberland. An oval shape, red skin with white flushes and a floury texture. To retain the attractive appearance, it can be cooked with the skin on.
Shetland Black 1923 – Registered with Slow Food UK
Potatoes were introduced to the Shetland Islands as far back as 1588, when they were believed to have been salvaged from a Spanish Armada shipwreck. The specific origins of this potato remain a mystery. Shetland Black probably dates back to Victorian times when there was a lot of potato breeding using coloured varieties. The Shetland Black was included within the National Collection in 1923. Shetland Black is now a ‘Forgotten Food’ registered with Slow Food UK.
When cut open, the flesh is a pale creamy yellow colour with a ring of purple. The Shetland Black has a sweet buttery flavour. It possesses a light, floury texture and is best cooked in its skin.
Saute, Bake, Roast or Steam.
Floury and dry
Mr Little’s Yetholm Gypsy around 1899
Developed in the village of Yetholm, the Gypsy capital of Scotland, and grown by the Little Brothers, based in the Border Village. The ONLY variety to show red, white and blue colour on the skin. They really are delicious!
Simmer, Steam or Roast.
Mayan Gold are unique, because they are the first potato in the UK from the indigenous Phureja potatoes of Peru.
A rich golden coloured flesh, and a moreish flavour. They have a floury texture which results in excellent roast or chipped potatoes and excellent mash when steamed.
Roast, Chip or steam for mash
Floury and Very Dry
Pink Fir Apple 1850
Imported from France in 1850. A traditional variety, the tubers are long, narrow and famously knobbly. The skin is part pink/part white with waxy flesh. Wonderful ‘new potato’ flavour and a good salad potato. Best cooked whole in skins. Delicious hot or cold.
Boil whole or saute sliced.
Red Emmalie is a specialist variety, and gives a great colour and taste to any plate. They have a long shape. It is a relatively floury variety.
Bake, Boil, Roast or Steam
Yukon Gold 1980
Originally from Canada. Attractive smooth yellow skin with shallow eyes and very yellow flesh. A superior baking potato with a delicious flavour.
Bake, Boil, Roast or Chip
Highland Burgundy 1936
Used to add appropriate colour to a meal for the Duke of Burgundy in the Savoy Hotel. Oval, long shape, dull russet layer over bright burgundy skin. Red Flesh with a definite ring of white. Excellent novelty mash crisps and chips.
Simmer, Steam, Roast, Chip or Saute
Red Duke of York 1942
First found in a Dutch crop of Duke of York. Deep red potatoes with pale yellow flesh. Can leave the skin on and it does not fade during cooking. Produces crispy skins when baked or roasted. Very tasty.
Roast, Bake, Boil or Chip.
Arran Victory 1918
Bred on the Isle of Arran on the West Coast of Scotland and named to celebrate the victorious end of the First World War, it is very rare. It has achieved fame and retained it for many reasons, the most notable being the deep purple blue skins which lose their colour on cooking.
The tubers are round to short oval with blue skin, white flesh and deep eyes. Best simmered gently for an exceptionally flavoured, fluffy mash which will crisp beautifully if used as a pie topping.
Bake, Boil, Roast, Simmer, Steam or Chip
Floury & very dry
Violetta is a specialist variety with a Blue skin and Blue flesh, very similar to Salad Blue 1900. They have a delicate sweet flavour, a slightly floury flesh and work well in savoury dishes and mixed mash. Best to keep the skin on to retain the colour.
Saute, Boil, Roast, Bake or crushed
History of Potatoes
8000 Years of History
The Potato (Solanum tuberosum) originated in the Andes of South America 8,000 years ago. It was around 6,000 years ago that Incas in Peru first cultivated them.
The Peruvian Quechua language records more than 1,000 words to describe potatoes and potato varieties! The potato was believed to have medicinal qualities and was rubbed on the skin of sick patients as a remedy.
POTATOES ARRIVE IN EUROPE
However, the invading Spanish conquistadors centuries later also loved the Peruvians’ potatoes. The Spaniards had been on the look out for gold and jewels – potatoes became one of the exotic finds they excitedly brought back to Europe to impress royalty in 1536. The word ‘potato’ known in Spanish as ‘patata’ is derived from the word ‘batata’.
POTATO POPULARITY SPREADS
In France, Antoine-August Parmentier helped King Louis XIV make the potato a popular hit in the 18th century. Having been imprisoned in Germany – where he was fed only potatoes – he knew how to create a feast of fabulous dishes all based on this one ingredient. One guest at a Parmentier Feast was legendary American statesman Benjamin Franklin. He enjoyed it so much he spread the word to the “New World” funnily enough the continent potatoes had been taken from by the Spanish. “French Fries” officially arrived in the United States of America when Thomas Jefferson served them at the White House during his presidency of 1801-1809.
POTATOES COME TO THE UK & IRELAND
The potato started being grown in London by 1597, and soon became popular in Ireland and Scotland. Popularity for the potato came during the Industrial Revolution, when demand was created for cheap, energy-rich, non-cereal foods. Potatoes went on to become the basis for many peoples’ essential nutrition around the world. When a fungus destroyed the potato crop in Ireland in 1845 the death toll of the infamous Irish Potato Famine was immense.
INVENTION OF CRISPS
Crisps Invented by accident in 1853
People also began to realise quite how versatile the potato was sometimes by accident. In 1853 railway magnate Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt sent his serving of potatoes back at a swanky restaurant in Saratoga Springs, USA. The fact that he’d rejected them for being too thick enraged the chef, George Crum. To get his own back he sarcastically sliced them incredibly thin, fried them in hot oil and threw salt all over them before sending them back to the haughty customer. To everyone’s amazement, the mighty Vanderbilt absolutely loved his “Saratoga Crunch Chips” and potato crisps have been a big hit ever since.
POTATOES IN SPACE
The Final Frontier
1995 – First vegetable grown in space
Potatoes are still making history. In October 1995 the potato became the first vegetable to be grown in space! NASA called in top boffins to help them develop super-nutritious and versatile spuds to feed astronauts on long space voyages. Eventually they hope to feed future space colonies with their supercharged version of the potato the Peruvian Incas first worshipped!
POTATOES ALL OVER THE WORLD
Today, potatoes are grown on an estimated 19,500,000 hectares around the world. China is now the biggest potato producer, and almost a third of all potatoes are harvested in China and India alone. Asia and Europe are the world’s major potato producing regions, accounting for more than 80 percent of world production in 2006. While harvests in Africa and Latin America were far smaller, production was at record levels. North America was the clear leader in yields, at more than 40 tonnes per hectare. Asia consumes almost half of the world’s potato supply, but its huge population means that consumption per person was a modest 25 kg in 2005. The heartiest potato eaters are Europeans. Per capita consumption is lowest, but increasing, in Africa and Latin America.
The UK is the 11th largest potato producing country. In Britain we consume 94kg of potatoes per person, per year.
POTATOES FIGHT HUNGER
Potatoes are so rich in starch that it ranks as the world’s fourth most important food crop, after maize, wheat and rice. The potato plays a strong role in developing countries with its ability to provide nutritious food for the poor and hungry. It is ideally suited to places where land is limited and labour is abundant, conditions that epitomise the conditions in much of the developing world.
1536 – The potato arrived in Europe
1609 – European sailors take the potato to China
1719 – Potatoes arrive in America
1801 – First French Fries served in America
1845 – The Irish potato famine
1850 – Pink Fir Apple imported from France to the UK
1853 – Potato crisp invented in New York
1870 – Russet Burbank developed in Luneburg, Massachusetts
1899 – Mr. Little’s Yetholm Gypsy developed by the Little Brothers of Yetholm
1900 – Sharpe’s Express introduced by Charles Sharpe
1900 – Salad Blue developed
1916 – Red King Edward first appeared in Northumberland
1918 – Arran Victory bred in celebration of the end of World War I
1923 – Shetland Black included in the National Collection
1929 – The potato peeler is patented
1936 – Highland Burgundy
1942 – Red Duke of York
1951 – Aura introduced
1952 – ‘Mr Potato Head’ toy invented
1971 – International Potato Center opened in Lima
1979 – Oven chips invented in the UK
1980 – Yukon Gold first released to market
1993 – Colleen grown in Ireland
1995 – The potato is grown in space
2008 – United Nations International Year of the Potato