It can be easy to forget the humble potato

May 10th 2017
By: Melanie
It can be easy to forget the humble potato

It is something we can take for granted but in May the arrival of the early crop of new potatoes can bring the taste of spring to any dining table.  New potatoes are delicious and can be happily eaten all by themselves with just a little butter and salt.
New potatoes are simply from the early crop meaning that they are smaller than older (maincrop) potatoes. The most popular and perhaps best known new potato is the Jersey Royal. The unique growing conditions in Jersey offering a combination of gentle climate, the steep slopes and the seaweed used as a fertiliser (known locally as Vraic) produce these delicate new potatoes.  They  have the same Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status as Stilton and clotted cream, effectively giving their name EU-wide protection from potential imitators.
Jersey Royals have been grown on Jersey for over 130 years. Today there are approximately 20 island farmers who grow Jersey Royals, many of whom grow potatoes and no other crops. The potatoes are grown on approximately 16,500 vergees (approx. 7,300 acres).
The Jersey Royal season begins in November with planting under glass. The main outdoor crop is planted from January to April with harvesting from the end of March through to the July. The peak of the season is May, when up to 1,500 tonnes of Royals can be exported daily.
Alongside the Jersey Royals don’t forget to look for the equally royally named Charlotte potato - a small, waxy potato with a pale yellow skin and buttery yellow flesh. Both are excellent hot or cold in salads, or incorporated into a Spanish omelette. Enjoy