TIP OF THE DAY: Blue & Purple Potatoes | THE NIBBLE Blog - Adventures In The World Of Fine Food TIP OF THE DAY: Blue & Purple Potatoes – THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food
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TIP OF THE DAY: Blue & Purple Potatoes

The All Blue variety of blue potatoes.
Potatoes can be blue or purple, depending on
the soil in which they are grown. Photo
courtesy Burpee.com.

 

Naturally blue and purple foods are relatively rare.

Blue Foods. In the blue group are blackberries, blueberries, blue cheese, blue corn, Concord grapes, pale blue oyster mushrooms and edible flowers like bachelor’s buttons. And there are exotica like decaisnea, an Asian plant known as dead man’s fingers, with a blue pod and edible blue pulp.

Purple Foods. In the purple group: black currants; black rice; eggplant; elderberries; figs; red cabbage; purple artichokes, asparagus, bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower, grapes “green” beams, and kohlrabi; plums; prunes; raisins; and some microgreens.

But our favorite in the blue and purple group are blue and purple potatoes and yams, which have both blue/purple flesh and skin. More flavorful than many starchy white potatoes, they tend to have a slight earthy and nutty flavor. Look for them in specialty produce markets or better supermarkets.

The blue or purple color comes from anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that create red, blue and purple colors, depending on the pH of the soil and other growing factors.

 

There are numerous varieties with commercial names such as All Blue, Congo, Lion’s Paw, Purple Peruvian, Purple Viking, Purple Majesty and Vitilette. Specialty Produce magazine notes that there are 700 purple varieties in Peru, the birthplace of the potato.

They are generally harvested young, which is why they tend to be smaller and rounder. Leave them in the ground and they’ll grow larger and oblong.

According to Web MD, they’re a heart healthy vegetable, helping to lower blood pressure. What better reason to go out and buy some!

 

A Versatile Potato

Blue and purple potatoes have a medium-starchy texture. They keep their shape when baked but also mash and blend easily—for example, into potato soup, shown in the photo at right.

The pop of color is a delight in potato salads and a surprise in dishes like blue/purple potato soup.

Make fun dishes like purple potato chips or potato latkes. Mix purple potatoes with orange-fleshed squash. Try a purple potato pizza with smoked salmon and salmon roe, or with caramelized onions and rosemary.

For Easter, how about this purple potato soup from Family Spice? Here’s the recipe.

Purple mashed potatoes are also stunning on the table. If your tradition is roast lamb with rosemary potatoes, make those potatoes purple—or a mix of purple and white.

 

purple-potato-soup-familyspice-230

Purple potato soup: a treat for Easter dinner—or anytime. Photo © Family Spice.

 

Think of how you’d use blue or purple potatoes and let us know.

One suggestion you shouldn’t pass up: red, white and blue potato salad for Independence Day!

  




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