Saturday, February 28, 2009

All Hail the All-Blue

Item Photo

I thought I had taken a photograph of part of tonight's dinner: a cast iron skillet filled with slices of All-Blue potatoes, baby white onions and red peppers. But alas, no photo. The batteries need changed in the camera. (The photo above is from Seeds of Change's online catalogue.) However, that won't stop me from singing the Blue's praises.

We started growing All-Blues a few years ago in order to offer our farmers' market clients something different than the usual Pontiac Reds and Yukon Golds. They also made for a good conversation-starter/sales pitch. Taking most of our talking points straight from the people we bought our seed potatoes from, we'd say that kids love the novelty of blue french fries. And although I am certain children would indeed get a laugh, these potatoes are so much more diverse.

One reason we use them to make the aforementioned concoction of spuds, onions and peppers (home fries) is because they hold their shape better than some other more starchy potatoes. We also have a large supply from last year's harvest. They're good in a potato salad as well. Some folks make a red, white and blue potato salad for the Fourth of July. Yet, by and large, our favorite way to enjoy them is baked. We just pop them in the oven, without foil. The skins take on a nutty flavor that is absolutely incredible.

Have I sparked an interest? If so, I must point out that you may have a difficult time finding them in your major supermarket chain. You'll be better served finding a store that specializes in organic produce (I'm not going to mention the big chain that does this), and when summer rolls around, definitely go to your local farmers' market and ask the growers if they will have All-Blues this year. And if they will, tell them you'd like some of the bigger ones, big enough for baking, and of course, for french fries.


Crash said...

From Infoplease:
Food for Thought
While blue is one of the most popular colors it is one of the least appetizing. Blue food is rare in nature. Food researchers say that when humans searched for food, they learned to avoid toxic or spoiled objects, which were often blue, black, or purple. When food dyed blue is served to study subjects, they lose appetite.
Another link on hard-to-sell blue food:

Not sure I buy this. Grapes are purple and blueberries are blue. And the blue food is loaded with anthocyanins, very good for one.

Crash said...

And those blue taters might help improve one's poker-playing:

Crash said...

Hard to believe people have not responded to all this interesting potato lore. Does it bother you, bastin, when this happens?

Being a vegetarian since 1984, I have studied foods like this quite a bit.

bastinptc said...

Crash - You probably know more about the nutrition of vegetables than me. No, it doesn't bother me.

What did bother me when we were farming full time was the paltry prices we were often paid for our produce. It is not hard to convince people that certain foods are good for them; however, most people are unaware of the amount of labor involved to make those foods available.

Crash said...

They don't care about the labor. They just compare the price to how badly they want the item. You were stuck between them, the weather, the insects, and any big-grower competition. Made me sad for you until I thought back through all of your blog items. A rich life, on many levels.

Crash said...

Bastin, this link has some nice info from the Minneapolis Star about the increase in the 'buy local' movement. You might find some ways to increase the prices.