Wednesday, 4 September 2013

One Potato, Two Potato....

On a completely unrelated topic, writer and blogger Chloe Banks has just launched a flash fiction series on her blog based on the signs of the zodiac. Joe and I have volunteered our somewhat dubious fiction writing skills to contribute Pisces and Capricorn to her collection. You'll find us hanging out over there on 15th October and 19th November, but I'm pretty sure the whole series is going to be amazing and would very much recommend you go and check it out! 

For the first time this year we've been growing our own spuds. We trundled off to our local garden centre back in February where they had a fair range of varieties on a "fill a bag for £3" offer - and we had a voucher for another pound off that - bargain! We decided to take advantage of not having to commit to a whole bag of one type, instead choosing four different varieties.

We always eat a lot of new potatoes over the summer so decided that rather than trying to store them we'd just eat them fresh. We've now completely consumed all our earlies and have made a start on the later ones - here are our thoughts on the different types (as much for our memory as your information!).

Arran Pilot

Arran Pilot is a first early, and was the first of our potatoes to mature. Despite description of a firm waxy texture we ended up with fairly floury bland potatoes - not very inspiring. Maybe we ended up with the wrong spud?! Instead of boiling the rest of the crop we used them for potato wedges and roasting which had much better results, but we probably wouldn't bother with these again.

Pentland Javelin

Another first early, Pentland Javelin was the next potato to be put to the test. We found it had a much better flavour and texture than the Arran and so we used these for new potatoes throughout the early summer.


Moving on a bit into the year and we started to dig up our kestrels. These are second earlies and we let them get a little larger making a good all round potato. We have enjoyed these boiled as new potatoes, but found that they went from nicely cooked to completely disintegrated fairly quickly leaving us with a sloppy mess on at least one occasion. We've also roasted these with success.

Pink Fir Apple

Lastly we moved onto the pink fir apples which are a main cropping salad potato. Distinctively knobbly, we've only tried these as new spuds but find they boil well and have got a good flavour. We've been eating them alongside the kestrels and find that the two pair up to make a good crop for all occasions.

Arran Pilot excepted, we've been pleased with all our potatoes this year and may choose similar varieties next year. Or we may decide to try four completely new ones...

Which potatoes have you grown? What are your favourites?


  1. Riverford swear by Charlotte potatoes and they seem pretty nice to me. I do like red-skinned potatoes though so the pink fir ones look nice, if a bit more of a pain to clean!

    1. Charlotte's are good, but feel outside our criteria this year - avoiding potatoes we could buy at Tesco :)

  2. So far I've had Foremost (first early) which were pretty good and International Kidney (second early) which for me have been dire. I typically steam them, but they've been floury with skins peeling off and fairly tasteless. Not again.
    Last year I lost the main crop (Pink Fir Apple) to blight, so I've gone for a Sarpo resistant variety this year, but not tried it yet!

    1. Argh, the dreaded blight! International Kidney does sound like a disaster which is a shame. Hope your final crop is good to make up for it.

  3. They all look delicious. Now I've got a craving and you can't get a decent potato around here to save your life.

    1. Can you grow your own? We are lucky over here that the supermarkets have a good range so even when we have no fresh ones we can get nice ones still.


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