Saturday, 19 September 2009

Purple Viking Potatoes

Purple Viking Potatoes
More purple food. There's been an awful lot of purple food this month, don't you think? Not that I'm complaining; I love purple especially when you have things like these great Purple Viking potatoes with their psychedelic magenta streaks peeking through the darker skins. Inside they are a stark white, and they cook up as light and fluffy mashed or baked potatoes, although they are said be good for frying as well. In short, a good all-purpose potato. Quite a few people describe it as "the best tasting potato".

They are often described as slightly sweet, which I don't find at all; they have a good intense earthy potato-y flavour to me. They are described as good keepers, although I doubt we will find out, as I expect we will eat our crop of them pretty quickly. They are good, no question. There are a lot of novelty potatoes out there at the moment, but this is a real potato-lovers potato, light and mealy. I found the skins thin and easily damaged when I washed them - you can see a couple of light spots on the potatoes in the picture where it came off. These are mostly medium-sized to large potatoes; a couple of them were very large; even the small one at the bottom of the picture was about the size of a golf ball.

The plants are compact, and resistant to scab and leaf-hoppers, or so they say. Drought resistant and tolerant of poor weather; they should be ready to harvest in about 85 days. On the other hand they are apparently susceptible to late blight and a host of other fungi, bacteria and viruses. They were bred in North Dakota in 1953 and seem generally well adapted to growing in Canada.

NOTE ADDED: 03/05/2012. Having now grown these for several years, I can now say that although I love these potatoes and still intend to grow them regularly, they are amongst our worst potatoes for storing. You should really expect to use them by mid-January at the latest. 


Sophie said...

I love those purple potatoes!! They are hard to find here in Brussels, belgium!! But somestimes I find them at the mult cultural market.

Sean Garvey said...

Hello! I hope you don't mind, but I used your picture for my latest post. Great recipes! I found some unusual inspiration from this potato last week. Check it out at Best wishes! Sean

Rio said...

I grew these for the first time this year (in Northwest Washington state), and also noticed they're already beginning to sprout in my very cool(but not cold) pantry!
So scrubbing some up for tonight's dinner!