The potato originally was cultivated by Indians in Peru at least 4,500 years ago (http://collections.ic.gc.ca/potato/history/beginnings.asp), possibly as long as 7000 YA (http://www.indepthinfo.com/potato/history.shtml). By the time of the the Inca Empire, there were about 200 varieties. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potato#Varieties) But most of these varieties are unknown outside Peru. Why is that, in an international market always eager for new foodstuffs? In particular, there’s a purple variety – purple in the flesh, not just the skin. (Picture at http://www.foodsubs.com/Potatoes.html#purple.) Has anyone ever tried this? Does it taste any different from white-fleshed potato?
If they’re what I’m thinking of, I’ve had them in the UK (haven’t seen them here). And they were very good. Yes, they taste like potatoes. Maybe with a bit more distinct flavour, but definatly like potaoes. I believe we roasted them (alongside a joint of beef) and they came out beautifully.
My mom gets these at Whole Foods in Glendale, CA (Los Angeles). From what I remember, they taste a bit more buttery then regular potatoes, but they are still great.
Where can you get them? I’ve never seen them in supermarkets in Tampa.
I’ve bought those at the Wild Oats store here. They taste like potatoes, a bit mealy maybe. They make an interesting looking frittata.
We grow 'em and you can too.
They’re quite tasty, tend to be on the dry side and mealy. The drawback for me is their small size.
It’s sort of like an omelet, but less challenging to cook. [/url=http://www.realgoodfood.com/fritatta.html]Like this.
Try this one.
I’ve been growing and eating a purple potato variety (oddly)called Congo for about five years now - I obtained the original stock from the Henry Doubleday Research Association (a genetic resource preservation charity).
The plants are incredibly vigorous, producing very stiff, tall dark green haulms with winged stalks and dark purple flushed leaves - clusters of plantlets with roots are often found at the flowering tips. they require a long growing season and are not particularly heavy croppers.
The tubers vary in size from that of a pea, up to that of a small egg and are often somewhat elongated. the skin is difficult to describe - almost a metallic glossy deep purple when they are fresh. When sliced raw, the flesh inside is attractively marbled white and deep maroon-purple.
If you’re boiling them, you must leave the skins on and keep them as intact as possible, or the colour will wash out; even so, after boiling, the water will be deeply coloured - vivid, lurid turquoise in my case - probably turned this colour by our mildly alkalline tapwater.
When boiled, the skins turn dark denim-blue, the flesh inside is uniformly deep and intense violet. The flesh is very firm and dense, yet quite floury in texture. The flavour is good - nothing much unusual except an occasional hint of vanilla.
When thinly sliced and fried, the flesh turns navy and retains its attractive marbling - carefully done, this can result in crisps(chips) that have a sort of translucent, stained-glass beauty to them.
So why is a vegetable so hardy and growable, so interestingly delicious, and with such a novel presentation so hard to find in American supermarkets?