10,000 year old potatoes


Potatoes are a personal favorite crop for my wife and I. We eat a lot of potatoes, and so that adds to our bias. There is a flavor and texture to fresh potatoes that really beats stored, grocery store spuds. These can be fine for baking, but early summer roasted think skin potatoes are hard to beat. There are about 5,000 varieties of potatoes on earth, and selections have been taking place for the last 10,000 years -- and most people only try one or two kinds. We are so lucky to grow and trial new varieties each year, while sticking to a few favorites. A few really special varieties include: Kerr's Pink (pink skin / yellow flesh), German Butterball, and Sangre. The genetics of this crop originate mainly in South American -- in the Andean regions of Chile, Peru and really all the way up in to North America. There are native (distant) relatives in South Carolina and Georgia, for instance. Potatoes are one of the few crops that have impacted human history on a massive scale (think corn, wheat...on this level). In fact, potatoes are the worlds 4th largest crop. So, we are doing our share on this small farm to keep the varieties interesting and diverse. Not a huge addition to the worlds potato genome, but we are doing what we can! So if you can find good, fresh potatoes from a local farm -- don't bake them! Roast them quickly, almost al dente, toss in some olive oil (another ancient ingredient) enjoy 10,000 years of farming selection!