Turn up, peel on, dish out -- the petit purple potato is here, man. In
your TakeHome box this week are some interesting spuds in paisley duds
grown organically in the rich earth at Coke Farm
[http://www.cokefarm.com/index.php] in San Juan Bautista (Monterey
County). They are called “Purple Majesty” a modern
variety hailing from the seed banks of Colorado State University.
Many purple potatoes come from Peru, but this new variety has
antecedents in Eastern Europe. Scientists at an agricultural research
station near Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland England discovered a
patch of Hungarian purple potatoes [link for web version:
that were completely resistant to a wide range of fungi. Purple
potatoes are a boon to organic farmers, since they naturally resist
potato blight and so need no pesticides.
They have benefits for us potato eaters as well. Your regular
yellow-fleshed potatoes are chock full of polyphenols, vitamins,
minerals, carotenoids, and selenium, but the antioxidant activity of
the purple potato is 1.5 -2.6 times higher. It is rich with
anthocyanin, a pigment that gives it the purple color.
Whatever music you play in the kitchen, be it Jimi’s Purple
Haze, Janis, Prince, or Chopin, your purple potatoes will taste great.
Simply sauté or broil with salt and pepper, or mash with some
stand-out beet greens. You'll find these potatoes have a dense texture
that holds its shape well when cooked—and they keep their
fabulous color. Isn't that cool!