IRELAND’S BURIED TREASURE


Lobinstown based potato growers Meade Farm are hoping to capture the hearts (and taste buds) of consumers with a flavourful, exciting new Irish variety of potato called Irish Gold. This oval shaped potato has a golden skin with distinctive purple eyes and a creamy flesh. While it is similar to the Kerr’s Pink with its dry, floury texture, the Irish Gold has a unique sweet, buttery flavour. It is versatile and can be boiled, baked, steamed, roasted and chipped.


“I’m confident that the distinct flavour of this potato and its versatility will really win over consumers. It is rewarding to bring something new and unique onto the Irish potato market. The fact that it enhances our national potato crop by offering more biodiversity, is another big incentive to grow it,” explains Philip Meade Jr., Commercial Director of Potatoes at Meade Farm.


With a large majority of the Irish potato crop consisting of just a few varieties, efforts to create demand for new, vibrant varieties will have the potential to leave the national crop in a healthier place. A result of crossing the Rocket by Orla varieties, the purple eye classifies it as a blue parti-coloured variety. It is believed that research links this variety with the same anti-oxidant properties as blueberries.


Meade Farm are launching the Irish Gold potato in conjunction with Lidl in mid March in stores nationwide; they hope to convert this nation of potato connoisseurs to the new spud. There will be limited availability over the next few weeks, but they plan to plant more Irish Gold in the coming season. Consumers who like the newcomer will have to wait another six months until they are harvested in mid-August.


“They are classed as an early to main crop potato which means their growing period is slightly shorter than the Rooster, which is good for us growers,” adds Robert Devlin, Meade Farm General Manager.