A spud of a different color

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we’re kind of potato people. Chances are if you’re a member you’ve come across some of our early varieties, Augusta or Red Norland, but more selection is to come! We have dedicated just over half of an acre of our growing space to good ole fashion spuds. But we’re not satisfied by just any potato. We are growing seven varieties of organic, heirloom potatoes that you won’t find in your average grocery store (many of which are pink or purple). But, seven varieties may seem overwhelming. Crazy even. Who grows seven varieties of potatoes?! Why grow so many? Is there even a difference?

Well, we honestly didn’t (well, the interns didn’t at least) know the difference until last night. Despite the descriptive differences found online and in seed books, the seven varieties can easily seem to blend together. Surely they are all just potatoes right? We decided to put our spuds to the ultimate test: A potato face-off.

Our incredible spuds show off their color just before baking.

Our incredible spuds show off their color just before baking.

In the front of the photo you see the familiar Red Norlands with the soon-to-come purple and pink tie-dye Purple Vikings. We hate to brag, but honestly it was quite an impressive sight seeing them all laid out. After a rinse, we chopped them and baked them all in tin foil with a little bit of olive oil and salt. Then it was time for the blind taste test. Each contestant (everyone other than me) was given a score sheet on which they graded each potato on a scale from one to five in three different categories: flavor, texture, and visuals. At the end of the testing I tallied the scores.

As far as numbers go, the Purple Viking ended up on top. With its stunning colors and creamy texture it was no surprise, though, there was some dissent among the group with many arguing for the Desiree potato (which won’t be out until later in the season). Desiree climbed its way to the top of the texture list while the classic red skinned and white fleshed Red Norland held a steady lead on the visual front.

The Purple Viking variety came out on top of the over-all spud competition.

The Purple Viking variety came out on top of the over-all spud competition.

We also decided that we should turn the tables a bit and judge the judgers. Turns out that Meghan is the true potato lover of the group (giving most of the spuds high scores) while one unnamed member of the group seemed to lack an appreciation for spudly glory. So long story short: All of the potatoes were great but, look forward to the Purple Vikings this fall and make sure to ask Meghan about her favorite varieties (she’ll be at the St. Joe farmer’s market this weekend)!

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