Stalking the Purple Potato

October 7th, 2009

I love the idea of purple potatoes. Antioxidants and various other nutrituiets are often marked by color and flavor. Foods that are colorful, like blueberries or pomegranites, or butternut squash, have nutritients. Also, foods that are flavorful, cinnamon, nutmeg, most spices. The stronger the flavor, the darker the color, the better it is for you.

So the relatively bland and white potato has little going for it. But did you know in the Andes, where potatoes are from, they grow in all sorts of colors? One of which is purple, containing the same antioxidants as blueberries. And, they taste just like normal potatoes.

Locally I can only find them in mixed bags of gemstone potatoes at the store. Last year I planted one and it grew and I got a decent little harvest off of it. This year I ordered seed potatoes from Burpee, potato variety called “All Blue” I can’t say I recommend it. It definitely seemed different than the unknown variety I planted last year.

Firstly, many of the potatoes had a mostly white interior. I picked the best one of the picture you see here, but many had large sections of white around the outside. The spud also seemed more susceptible to scab, and yields weren’t too good. The color also faded significantly when cooked, making mashed potatoes with these ended up brownish white. This never happened with the ones I get from the store. I’ve decided this is an inferior variety.

There is another purple variety, “Purple Majesty” that I’ve seen available as seed potatoes. I think I’ll try that one next year. Considering the added nutrition benefits and no change in taste, I can see no reason why these shouldn’t take a bigger share of the domestic potato crop, hopefully it grows in popularity in the future. Nothing quite like eating your fries, and getting your antioxidants too.

5 Responses to “Stalking the Purple Potato”

  1. 6512 and growing  Says:

    Hi, I share your sentiments about frost, so sad to see the garden go. I also am a backyard gardener and parent. Come check out my blog when you have a chance.
    Rachel in Colorado

  2. Growing Vegetables in zone 9  Says:

    That is an amazing looking potatoe… Why didnt you save a few of the last seasons to continue growing this season?

  3. Leaf Blowers  Says:

    Never seen potatoes that color. How do the taste?

  4. Kiwi  Says:

    Do these varieties prefer a dryer soil?

  5. LeRoy  Says:

    There is a very common variety of purple sweet potato found in Hawaii markets. Its origin is Okinawa, Japan… Okinawa Purple Sweet Potato. Its skin is tan-white but the inside is a very dark purple. This potato is eaten as is (steamed) or as a filler for various asian treats.

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