Bintje Potato—Top of Her Class

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The lovely petite potato is the Bintje (pronounced “ben-jee”). Although almost all potatoes stem from South America, the potato’s introduction to Europe produced many wonderful heirloom off-shoots. The Bintje is of Dutch origin—a country that boasts hundreds of varieties that are routinely sold at local farmers markets and shops.

Bintje is the creation of botanist and school teacher Kornelis Friesland. For his genetics in botany lesson, Mr. Friesland used potatoes. He named his successive experiments after each of his nine children in turn. By the tenth experiment, a successful crossbreeding of the Munstersen and Fransen potato, he had run out of children—so he christened the perfect little potato after his star pupil, Bintje Jansma.

The Bintje potato is really a stand-out performer among potatoes. Yellow flesh, silky skin, creamy texture, and a slightly nutty flavor, they have a high moisture and low starch content, which makes for a very versatile potato. They have a great consistency mashed and are able to hold their shape fried. They are the potato used in the famous Dutch french fries—potat or pomme frites—which are customarily served with mayonnaise, ketchup, and raw onions.

The Dutch comfort food fave is Stamppot, a simple dish consisting of mashed potatoes with different ingredients, such as carrots (wortel stamppot), kale (boerenkook stamppot), or endive (andijvie stamppot). How ever you cook them, there are many ways to enjoy this star of the potato class.

Potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark place. As they are organic, they have not been treated with any sprout retardants.

Boil in skins, cool, and peel for use in salads or glazed in butter. Also excellent quartered and roasted with skins on and a dash of salt and herbs.


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