Friday, 28 August 2009

Bintje Potatoes

Bintje Potatoes
We actually harvested these a couple of weeks ago. The Eagle Creek catalogue (from whence they came) described them as a late season, heavy setting potato. Assuming that is so, we did not do particularly well with these. They died down early, and we harvested only 12 pounds from the 2 pounds we planted.

The little black spots on the potatoes are simply caked on dirt. For some reason potatoes in general, and some varieties of potato in particular, are prone to these. I wonder if it is caused by juice or sap from the potatoes, which act a bit like glue. They can be scrubbed off fairly easily, but I did not do it for this photo as I was not planning to cook the potatoes immediately afterwards and I was afraid of damaging the skins, which are very thin and delicate.

Apparently this is a common potato in Europe, although it is quite unusual in North America. It is a yellow fleshed potato, a bit like a Yukon Gold, although in my opinion it fortunately lacks the strange and not entirely pleasant (to me) sweetness found in Yukon Gold. They are a good balance between waxy and starchy, and very versatile. Apparently they are particularly good fried.

Bintje was bred in Holland in 1910, and introduced the next year. It was bred as a classroom genetics demonstration interestingly enough. There is more about it here; it's such a complete little article on them that I feel I'm not left with much to say myself.

Speaking of not much to say, we have company at the moment and so posting is likely to be fairly light for the next week or so. I have to say this is a time of year when it's also hard to come up with recipes: not because of lack of produce, but because there is so much available, and much of it is delicious eaten raw or lightly cooked, so that's what I tend to do.

Bintje Potato on Foodista


Kevin Kossowan said...

I bought my seed from Eagle Creek too!! I'm surprised you buy from out west. Canada post rates are the same for me as they are for you, more than likely, I suppose...

Ferdzy said...

Kevin, there used to be a good Ontario seed potato supplier, but they retired a few years back, and now Eagle Creek is pretty much it, I think. It's a bit startling how few there are out there, if you want something remotely unusual.

Ryan King said...

Hi Ferdzy, I'm creating a website on sustainable food and it would be great if I could get permission to use this photo of your Bintje Potatoes. I'll of course provide you with full credit and link back to this blog.

Feel free to shoot me an email to avoid discussing this in your comments:


Peter Brown said...

I'm looking to buy Bintje or Charlotte potatoes that I knew from Europe. I need a delicious small potatoe for a wedding reception. We're doing a raclette. I don't trust these "no name" potatoes typically found in super markets in Ontario. Any ideas on retailers of specialty pototoes in GTA or KW areas?
Thanks in advance
Peter Brown

Ferdzy said...

Hi Peter;

My immediate thought is that you should contact John Wood of Pinehaven Farm, near Millbrook. Try him at johnwoo at nexicom dot net, or googling the above information will bring up other ways to contact him. I don't know anyone who grows more kinds of potatoes than he does. Good luck!