A little while back, the folks from An Bord Bia’s Best In Season website asked if I would contribute a piece describing my favourite spud. As you can imagine, I had a thing or two to say on the subject, so I was more than happy to oblige. I’ve included a copy of the piece below for your reading pleasure. Not only that, but, if you’re up for even more in the way of favouritism, you can now become a fan of The Daily Spud over on Facebook or even submit some food blog award nominations over on Foodbuzz. When you’re done with that, come back here and I will present, without any further ado, my very own favourite spud.
He’s not a looker, bless him, but he’s one of my own. My very own Mr. Potato Head.
I found him in the garden late last year, long after the rest of his mates had been harvested. Finding a spud at that time of year was unexpected. Finding one with that face was priceless. He very quickly became a mascot for The Daily Spud and he really is my actual favourite spud. (And, yes, the fact that I can even identify an individual spud as favourite may tell you more about me than you really cared to know!)
As it happens, I not only have a soft spot for that spud in particular, but, as varieties go, the Sharpe’s Express family from which Mr. Potato Head hails, is probably my favourite class of spud. It’s a variety which produces long, oval-shaped earlies that are both tasty and mighty floury, and I am nothing if not a testament to my Irish upbringing in how I favour a floury spud over a waxy one. It’s not that waxy spuds, the likes of Charlottes, do not have their place. If you’re making a salad or a gratin, then those are the ones you want, but a floury specimen, baked or mashed or just steamed and heaped with butter, well now, that is hard to beat in my book. The fact that the French, and most continental Europeans for that matter, would scoff at our liking for floury spuds matters not a whit. In this jurisdiction, the flourier, the better and Sharpe’s Express get my vote on that basis, beating the not-so-floury but equally tasty Duke of York into a close-run second place.
In the matter of favourite varieties, though, it would really be more accurate to say that the ones I have mentioned constitute my favourites so far. The number of varieties that I have actually dined on is a mere a fraction of the thousands that exist and, while I do not actually plan on trying every potato known to man, there are certainly many more varieties that I would like to meet and eat. The number of varieties grown commercially here in Ireland, however, is relatively small and, assuming that you can get hold of suitable seed potatoes, the only way to sample most varieties is to grow them yourself. I’ve been doing just that in my own small way for a few years now, managing to grow a few early varieties, as well as the occasional funny face.
For the greater part of the year though, I default to digging through the spuds on offer in the local shop and join many others in piling my plate with Roosters (that’s the potato, not the poultry). They do make for a great all-rounder spud and I sometimes forget to go hunting for anything else. If I remember to change things up, I’ll vary the potato diet a little with some Maris Piper for roasties, or Kerr’s Pink, for a taste of something flourier. If I want anything other than those, though, chances are that I’ll have to go digging elsewhere and my thoughts will turn to seed suppliers and what might be on the potato-growing menu for next year.
Nicely done on the little article. I just became a fan on your FB page. ;-D
Great article! Thanks for sharing. You have such a catching writing style. I think my faves have to be the red taters from my dad’s garden. I don’t know if that is the technical name as I’m not so well versed in potatoes, but they make excellent garlic mashed taters.
I think the purple heart from earlier in the summer was my favourite spud pic
What a great article!! Thanks for sharing it with us!!
Your writing is truly entertaining!!
Congrats on the article. You are one of the best writers out there. Nom’d you for a Foodbuzz award. :) G’luck!
jenn: thanks and welcome to Daily Spud fandom :)
Lori: thank you :) on the subject of red taters, it seems more common to refer to spuds by colour in the US, so I don’t actually know what variety those taters from your Dad’s garden are likely to be (other than to say that the fact that they come from your Dad’s garden naturally makes them one of the best!)
Malachi: that was indeed a pretty special spud
Sophie: why thank you, much appreciated
Duo Dishes: I blush :)
I have often wondered about that potato face, now I know. GREG
So now you know it’s not just another pretty face :D
What a fun read, and now I’ll have to go check out the other sites you mentioned.
There can be no doubt that you are the Potatoes greatest champion! Y’know, the moment I spotted that potato face when I first joined Foodbuzz, I had to read your blog . . . you were my nominee for “Best Writing Voice”. Potatoes have lots of eyes but you’ve given them a clear, lovely, strong voice!
OysterCulture: thanks as always!
TangledNoodle:…and whaddya know, you were my nominee for Best Writing Voice! We should get together sometime :)