Summertime: Freshly harvested healthy and versatile New potatoes
Aaaah, the long hot days of summer. The sun’s out and potato growers are busy harvesting their Seasonal New potatoes as the orders come in. These little fluffy-skinned beauties are being picked, cooled and packed as fast as possible so they can be enjoyed while they’re really fresh.
Cornish New potatoes are the first of the UK mainland crops to herald the start of summertime. That south westerly tip of the country warms up fast to get them growing. Then there’s Suffolk, Norfolk and some of the Lincolnshire coastal areas, as well as Ayrshire up on the west coast of Scotland. The light sandy soils and winds off the sea help to keep the fields frost-free so the plants get an early start. They’re harvested while the leaves are still green above ground, which means that the immature potatoes have a thin loose skin that just needs a gentle rub before cooking.
Firm and waxy varieties, like Maris Peer, Gemson, Piccolo Star and Casablanca and are perfect for fresh potato salads. A light steam or simmer beforehand and they retain all those vitamins and minerals and they are the perfect base for so many exciting summery flavours.
New potatoes are also great for roasting whole or cut in half. No need to parboil, just pop them in a roasting tray or roasting bag with a little oil and some herbs or spices for minimum effort and maximum taste. And if you’re having a barbie we’ve got some delicious New potato recipes that will help your meat go further or even replace it all together.
Meanwhile the maincrop potatoes are growing in the fields. Turning all that lovely sunshine into energy to bulk up the spuds underground. If it’s dry the growers will be irrigating to keep up with their thirsty crops so that they’ll ready to harvest at the end of the summer.
Here’s a video showing how potatoes grow through the season
We’ve got some delicious summer recipes for you to try
You can find a variety of our Seasonal New potato recipes here.