Posts Tagged ‘kipfler’

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Big Boy came into the kitchen a couple of hours ago and asked me what was for lunch.

“We’re having a gourmet potato tasting.  Hmmm. It’s not a normal life we lead, is it?”

“No…”, he replied, “it’s much better.”

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Tasting #1 : Mashed

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Clockwise from the Purple Congo are Bintje, Nicola, Dutch Cream, King Edward and Kipfler.

I washed, peeled and chopped up one or two of each of the gourmet potato varieties we’d bought at the markets, then cooked them in the microwave.  These were then mashed with a little milk, butter and a pinch of salt (not too much, as I didn’t want to mask the flavour of the potato), and lined up for Pete, Big Boy and I to taste.  Here are our notes in order of tasting:

Bintje: Big Boy and I loved this potato, Pete less so.  It cooked very quickly in the microwave – much faster than the waxier Nicolas or Kipflers.  This spud has a light yellow flesh and an interesting savoury note which we found appealing – it reminded me of potatoes I’d eaten as a child.  The Bintje mash tasted like the inside of hot chips, which is probably why we liked it so much. These potatoes are neither waxy nor floury, and will definitely be a variety we’ll buy again.

Nicola: Such a contrast to the Bintje!  These waxy potatoes were slow to cook, really yellow on the inside and quite sweet to taste.  They weren’t really suited to mashing, but would make an excellent salad potato.

Purple Congo: These were interesting,  but I probably won’t buy them again.  Firstly, by the time you’ve peeled away the rough exterior, there’s not all that much potato left.  Secondly, they turned everything purple – the sink, the cooking liquid and my hands.  Having said that, these were completely different to the other potatoes, and really quite tasty.  The  mash was Teletubby purple and the flavour closer to a sweet potato than a normal white or yellow one.  These would be great for a showcase dish, but they’re unlikely to become one of our regular purchases (though they probably should, as Pete was sure that they would be high in anti-oxidants).

Dutch Cream: These have a similar taste, albeit less sweet, to the Nicola, but are much better suited to mashing (which surprises me, as they’re quite waxy).  They’re aptly named, because they tasted creamier than the other potatoes,  despite having had the same amount of milk and butter added.  Definitely one we’d buy again.

King Edward: These white fleshed spuds are the quintessential mashing potato, although they’re a bit too floury for my liking. Pete felt that we could have added even more milk and butter, and the potato would have absorbed it all.

Kipfler: Big Boy’s other favourite, these waxy, yellow-fleshed spuds  have a beautiful flavour and an interesting shape. Definitely one we’ll be buying regularly.

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Tasting #2 : Baked

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I cut up four varieties, tossed them in olive oil and salt and roasted them in a hot oven until well baked.  I only used four types because I couldn’t think of any more ways to cut them up – the Bintjes were cut into cubes, the Dutch Creams were sliced, the last King Edward was cut into wedges and the Kipflers were easily distinguished by their long cigar shape.

We all loved the King Edward baked – it had a crisp exterior and a white fluffy centre, and would have been perfect with sour cream or butter. The Dutch Creams were a little too sweet for me, and Pete thought they were too waxy for baking.  The Kipflers were delicious, and a little firmer in texture than the other varieties.  Big Boy loved the Bintjes – he thought they tasted like a classic chip should.

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This was great fun and highly educational – I’d never realised that potatoes could vary so much. The best part, though, is that we now know which variety to choose for a particular dish; King Edward, Bintje or Kipfler for baking, Nicola for salad, and Bintje or Dutch Cream for mash.  That kind of knowledge is empowering!

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Last Friday, I sweet-talked Glen, the owner of our favourite potato and onion stall at Flemington Markets, into selling me a selection of gourmet potatoes.  He was being very kind – these are usually sold by the kilo, but he let me buy just a few of each to try.  They had about a dozen varieties on offer!

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These are Nicola potatoes, recommended for salads, but also supposedly good for roasting and mashing.  They originated in Germany, but are now grown all over the world.


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Next up are Dutch Creams, which have a waxy yellow flesh.  Great for mashing, in soups or as a roasted potato.

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These King Edward potatoes are white fleshed, with interesting pinkish eyes. They aren’t recommended for salads, but are great for mashing or baking, as they’re quite a floury spud.

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One of my favourites – Royal Blue potatoes – they’re the large purplish ones at the back of the photo.  These are a delicious all-rounder, and we use them for mashing, roasting and in soups.  They have a yellow flesh and are similar in flavour and texture to a Desiree.

The ones at the front which look like petrified lumps of dinosaur poop are a variety known as Purple Congo. The flesh is a bright purple colour and very dry.   They need to be boiled and mashed, as a lot of liquid is required to make them palatable.

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These Bintje potatoes originated in Holland – they’re a versatile all-rounder, and the internet tells me that they’re now the most widely grown yellow-fleshed potato in the world.


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And finally, an old favourite – Kipfler potatoes – originally from Austria and now widely available, and one of the better known gourmet varieties.  These are good for just about everything except chips.

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Time to go play in the kitchen!   I think I might start by mashing each type separately, and comparing how they taste.  I’ll report back tomorrow…

Continued here: Gourmet Potatoes #2

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