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Potatoes - Summer


Potatoes in a pot
Potatoes are the world’s fourth largest food crop and account for 18% of all vegetable sales in New Zealand.
Potatoes are grown all over New Zealand with principle growing areas being Pukekohe ( just south of Auckland), Hawke’s Bay (east coast of the North Island), Manawatū (lower North Island), Oamaru and Canterbury in the South Island.

PICK

With many different varieties of potatoes available, choose the right one for your dish. Will they be boiled for a salad or mash, baked or chipped? Potatoes vary from waxy through to floury, while a floury potato makes a fluffy mash it would fall apart in a salad. The more starch in the potato the more ‘floury’ it is, the more water, the waxier.

Note: As the season progresses, a potato changes e.g. an Ilam Hardy early in the season (October) is quite waxy. A mid- season Ilam Hardy is a good general-purpose potato, while towards the end of the season a lot more of the natural sugars have converted to starch, so it tends to be floury. Although not all potatoes show such a range of characteristics.

In addition, the season, weather, climate and soil have a dramatic effect on the cooking performance of a potato e.g. a Southland grown Nadine may be very waxy while a Pukekohe grown Nadine may be only slightly waxy.


VARIETIES

We grow over 50 varieties of potatoes in New Zealand. Here area few of the popular ones.


Agria

A yellow/brown skinned potato with a yellow flesh. Particularly suitable for mashing, wedges, roasting and chipping.


Moonlig

A white skinned potato with a yellow flesh. Mild flavoured, tending towards being waxy. It is most suitable for boiling and salads. le for most end uses, a great all-rounder.


Ilam Hardy

A yellow skinned white fleshed potato. Full flavoured, tending towards being floury. It is an all-purpose potato suitable for most end uses especially mashing and baking.


Nadine

A white skinned potato with a yellow flesh. Mild flavoured, tending towards being waxy. It is most suitable for boilingand salads.


Rua

A cream skinned white fleshed potato. A full flavoured potato which falls in the middle of the range between waxy and floury. An all purpose potato suitable for most end uses.


Red Rascal

A red skinned white fleshed potato. Full flavoured potato, tending towards being floury. It is best suited for baking, roasting, wedges and mashing.

Summer also brings with it some seasonal specialty new potato varieties. New potatoes have a delicate flavour and are usually available from spring to early summer. They are young potatoes and unlike their fully grown counterparts, they keep their shape once cooked and cut. They are sweeter because their sugar has not yet converted into starch and are therefore particularly suited to salads.


NEW POTATOES

Summer also brings with it some seasonal specialty new potato varieties. New potatoes have a delicate flavour and are usually available from spring to early summer. They are young potatoes and unlike their fully grown counterparts, they keep their shape once cooked and cut. They are sweeter because their sugar has not yet converted into starch and are therefore particularly suited to salads.


Jersey Benne

A white skin, white fleshed small potato perfect for boiling and salads, the best Jersey Bennes come from around Oamaru in the South Island.


Perla

Grown by our largest potato producer Wilcox, Perlas are a small, new season potato with a delicate, fine skin, no peeling required! High in vitamin C and fibre, Perlas have a smooth waxy texture and hold their shape well when cooked and are excellent served either hot or cold. On the grill, make a salad or kebabs, or gently boil and toss in a little olive oil and sprinkle with fresh herbs and seasoning. Perlas are only available during the spring and summer seasons, from September through to March.


MĀORI POTATOES

Pre Europeans there were no potatoes in New Zealand so Māori potatoes or ‘taewa’, which have had a resurgence in popularity of late, are in fact cultivars introduced by European explorers in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. What sets them apart from the more common varieties are their distinct looks. They generally have deep- set eyes and are often knobbly and irregular. They range in shape from spherical through flattish-oval to elongated and their skin colours vary from purple to orange-pink to mottled red and yellow. Their flesh is equally diverse, ranging from white to yellow to purple, sometimes with a coloured ring in the cross section, and cover the spectrum from ultra-floury

to waxy. This variation in shape and colour is why these less common varieties are exciting for chefs.


Urenika

Elongated tubers with dark purple skin and very floury white-flecked purple flesh.


Moemoe

Roundish tubers with yellow and reddish-mottled skin and waxy purple-flecked yellow flesh.


Peruperu

Elongated tubers with creamy-yellow skin splashed with purple and floury creamy-white flesh streaked with yellow.




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