Almost every area has produce of which it can be proud and one of North Otago’s culinary treasures is its new potatoes.
There is a happy mix of climate and soils which produces potatoes with a distinct and delicious taste.
So good are they that others have tried to trade on their reputation.
A couple of years ago a Kakanui grower saw boxes purporting to contain North Otago new potatoes while visiting Nelson in October. Knowing his own crop was still some weeks away from harvest he did a little detective work and discovered they weren’t North Otago potatoes but Nelson ones pretending to be their superior southern cousins.
When the first new potatoes of the season appear in the supermarket we resist them. Knowing they come from further north and never measure up to those grown in North Otago we wait to enjoy the local ones.
This season, however, I reluctantly admit that the Kakanui and Totara spuds didn’t live up to my expectations.
In light of the discussion by JC and Fran O’Sullivan four posts back about too much water diluting the flavour of tomatoes, I wonder if that applies to potatoes too because the one major difference in the production of this season’s crop and those of previous years is irrigation.