- 8th Jun 2020
- 0 comments
It’s official – Ayrshire Earlies, Scotland’s first New potato crop of the year, have launched in Tesco stores across Scotland and will be available locally until the end of July.
The Ayrshire spuds were awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status in 2017 – an EU protected food name scheme that covers guaranteed authenticity and origin or regional and traditional foods.
Ayrshire is one of the most productive agricultural regions of Scotland as it has a milder climate driven by the Gulf stream from the long coastline along the Firth of Clyde.
Four generations of the Wilson family have farmed in this unique coastal area for more than 130 years, passing the land down from generation to generation. Their Ayrshire Earlies are traditionally grown on a narrow strip of sandy soil that is just a few metres above the high tide line.
Because the area remains largely frost-free, they can plant as early as February. This year saw plenty of sunshine and the west coast still got some much-needed rain during April and May while the potatoes were bulking up beneath the ground.
The crops are carefully checked throughout spring so they can be harvested as soon as they reach the right size. These are proper New potatoes - harvested while the leaves are still green above ground and the immature potatoes have a thin and fluffy skin. The first small load is often harvested by hand, as they are particularly delicate and are best eaten while they’re really fresh.
To celebrate the launch of Ayrshire New potatoes we have developed six New potato recipes, which you can find here.