Tuesday, 16 September 2008

potato heaven


'The Cox of the kitchen garden' was how Lawrence Hills described his favourite potato, Record. Hills was a writer rather than a doer, and so missed out on what is, by some distance, the best potato variety. This is Pink Fir Apple.
It is the oldest variety sold, dating back to 1850 when it was grown in France. Although modern varieties have often improved on old ones and replaced them, the longevity of this variety tells us something about its popularity and success.

It is a quirky spud as you can see: very knobbly.
As a maincrop, is in the soil later in the season, making it more prone to the twin perils of the potato gardener: potato blight and slug damage.
So, some years the crop is pathetic. This year has been quite good. This is what they look like at lifting. Believe me, they do look prettier once washed and scrubbed. It is a wonderful salad potato, delicious hot and utterly irresistible cold.

The odd shape of the tubers may be the reason that supermarket shoppers never get to taste it. This is a great pity because Pink Fir Apple has the highest dry matter content of any potato.
This makes it impossible to overboil, and dense and satisfying to eat.

Family always ask for it by name at this time of year, and who can blame them?

Sauted, they would be served in potato heaven.

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