Potato Evaluation

by Lars.

The Nordic Food Lab conducted a sensory analysis of underutilized varieties of Nordic potatoes to evaluate their respective gastronomic potential and desirability.

We initially received forty individual varieties grown from Nordgen seed stock in their test farm. We processed these in a manner most consistent with average consumer cooking methods,(boiled) and selected ten that most interesting. The Nordic Genetic Research Center cultivated approximately five kilos of each variety for further testing.  The specimens evaluated were:

SWE 3007 Sparrispotatis

DNK 3054 Æggeblomme

SWE 3062 Rödbrokig Svensk

DNK 3198 Kiva

NOR 3212 Fjellfinn

FIN   3223 Tammiston Aikainen

SWE 3230 Blå Mandel

DNK 3259 Minea

FIN   3267 Lemin Punanen

ISL    3304 Blaar Islenskar

These varieties were subjugated to the following processes: baking, boiling, sous vide, French fries, crisps, pureed, confit.

The tastings were conducted with a minimum of three trained chefs, although typically six persons participated. The tastings were conducted using a seven-point category scale (seven highest) to measure the intensity of each sensory attribute. Each panelist was given an appropriate description of the lexicon for each sensory analysis.

All the sensory evaluations were conducted with King Edward potatoes as a control.

As expected, certain qualities of each potato were rather more suited for different cooking methods. What excelled as a baking potato would sometimes flounder in a boiling test. Several of the varieties were interesting prior to testing, merely on their aesthetic qualities. Some varieties had qualities that would be desired by a professional, but perhaps not the amateur or household cook. The sparrispotatis were an example of this; while initially they produced a rather odd potato pure, we were able to manipulate them into a unique and excellent product.

Overall, as evidenced by the sensory analysis, The Nordic Food Lab recommends the following potatoes further work, and suggests integration into production:

Sparrispotatis

Æggeblomme

Rödbrokig Svensk

Lemin Punanen

There will be further information on each variety and cooking method as we crunch and enter the data.