Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ozette Potatoes

Ozette Potatoes
Ozette Potatoes. Well, that's what they call 'em up here, after the lake named after a Makah village. Supposedly they came in with the Spanish a couple centuries ago. Sounds right to me. They certainly look like the original breeds of tuber that came up from South America through Europe.

The ones I've seen have often been small, as the original tuber types often are, but as you can see in the photo, they respond very well to fertilizer and water. The larger ones average a foot and a half long. Under equivalent conditions, compared to reds, blues and various whites, they're the best producers in the garden, at least for this cool, salty, windy climate.

They grow in upright bunches that would make them excellent for container gardening, and produce long, strong vines, that would take a lot of burying to produce even more potatoes.

They have rather difficult-to-clean sunken eyes, but they never seem to have any hollow or bad spots inside. They steam up nicely and they're tasty. At a certain stage, they're waxy like salad potatoes. Steamed more, they become fluffy, like Idaho bakers. They're particularly easy to prepare for pan-fries; simply slice them like carrots and slow-fry in oil.

Note: if you only have poor soil and little water, go for blues; they seem to be jump-started by drought, even happier, and produce more than anything else. Tough guys, blues. 
Roberta Gregory's potatoes just came up in Seattle. April 10, 2013.