Mayan Queen potatoes

Mayan Queen potatoes

Potatoes have so long been a British staple, it's surprising to realise that they didn't originate here, but were actually discovered in the Andes.

Numerous UK varieties have been developed over the centuries, but now a grower has developed one which harks back to the original Andean potato.

'The Mayan range comes from our long-term breeding programme of Phureja seed potatoes based close to Perth, developed with the Scottish Crop Research Institute,' says Nick Winmill of Greenvale Potatoes, who grow Mayan Queens exclusively for Tesco, as well as other varieties across the UK.

'The first Phureja variety we developed was Mayan Gold, a rich golden tuber that is easily the king of roasting potatoes. Now we've launched the Mayan Queen, with a deep yellow, buttery flesh, a long oval shape and a pink blush. They look great.'

So how do they taste? Apparently the Mayan range taps into our fifth taste sensation - umami. Explains Nick, 'Loosely translated from Japanese, umami means deliciousness — it's a kind of moreish, rich flavour that you get from foods such as shiitake mushrooms, cured ham and now Mayan potatoes.'

Mayan potatoes benefit from a longer growing period than other varieties, ideally planted in warm soil at the end of March and harvested in September. 'Mayan Queens are also robust which means they are naturally quite disease resistant — excellent news in terms of being green,' adds Nick.

Mayan Queens are really delicious roasted, which is how Nick enjoys eating them. 'They have such a rich flavour and roasting really brings out their depth.'


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