Thursday, June 4, 2009

Varhaisperunat/New Potatoes

The Finnish-grown new potatoes have hit the stores. Why is this such a big deal you wonder? If you've ever enjoyed a meal with new potatoes you shouldn't be asking. If you've never experienced the culinary joy that new potatoes bring, I suggest that you try some as soon as you can.

In Finland, to truly qualify as a new potato, the skin should mostly leave the tuber after a light scrubbing with a vegetable brush and some water. In late winter the stores already start trying to pass small potatoes from Cyprus off as the real deal, but with so much time and distance between the field and the pot, they don't even come close in the flavor department.

By May, the new potatoes from the slightly more southern locale of Skåne in Sweden appear in the produce department, and they come close to making the grade, but again, the time/distance factor comes into effect, and something in the flavor is lacking.

Today I was almost embarrassingly excited when I spotted the first real new potatoes of the season for sale at the local market. The price was high, and will definitely drop in the coming weeks, but I'm not known to skimp on things as basic as flavor, which may explain my usually unspectacular bank balance.

New potatoes. In the pot and waiting to boil. These potatoes are the variety Hankkijan Timo, the most widely-cultivated new potato in Finland.


  1. I don't know about Finnish ones, but I've always hated the new potatoes in Poland. Everybody around was going crazy and all, but I always was like, yuk!

  2. Finnish new potatoes have a wonderful fresh taste. Best potatoes I've ever eaten!