New Crop: Purple Viking Potatoes + Salsify News

The new Viking potato from Weiser Family Farms.
The new Viking potato from Weiser Family Farms.
Felicia Friesema

Another brand new potato arrived at the Weiser Family Farms tables this weekend, giving Weiser's purple and gold Laker Baker a visual run for its money. The Viking potato has a deep burgundy purple skin mottled with uneven splotches of pink, giving the effect of a beet juice dyed Easter egg. Appropriate since the flesh within is albumen white.

It's a slightly sweet, creamy variety that works well under all potato cooking conditions, though we found that boiling them nearly eliminated the striking skin color. If the skin is what you love, aim for a gentle baking, to keep the colors intact. The flesh is Yukon Gold smooth and snow bright. Great in salads or curries. We hear it fries into chips exceedingly well, too.

Alex Weiser says he grew only a half acre trial patch to see how they would do. He'll have them for the next six to eight weeks. If they make the cut, expect to see them again sometime next year, though you may want to get while the getting's good.

In other New Crop news, Weiser tells us he's planting salsify soon, a root crop we rarely see at the local markets. It's been cultivated in Europe since the 16th century but it has never gained a popular foothold here in the States. A shame, since it has a unique sweet oyster-like flavor that we love pairing with seafood and a nice crisp sauvignon blanc. Crossing our fingers for a good harvest.

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