Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Science of Spuds-Taste Testing King Edwards

Worlds smallest yield of potatoes-King Edwards
Don't you just hate experimental science? all that poking and prodding, control groups and paperwork, and for what? to tell us something that will easily be disproved next month, just so a whole bunch of people in white coats have yet more reasons to apply for more funding and squander it on more scientific research! Arrrrrraggggh!!

I'm more of a fan of the type of experiment you can conduct yourself at home, no special equipment required. So today I tested the notion(that I keep seeing and reading everywhere) that the King Edward is the worlds best baking spud.

Result; No it's not.

How easy was that?!

As a crop of potatoes to grow the King Edwards did very poorly, caught blight early and had tiny yields when dug. The spuds themselves in common with a lot of other main crops this year were beset by tunnelling slugs, eel worms and in a very few cases rot brought on by blight. It's hard to judge a whole spud variety by an exceptionally bad year but then in fairness spuds that did better must be better spuds right? otherwise the point of trying out lots of different varieties is lost. I mean how many times should you grow the same variety of spud to figure out if its worth growing again or not? Life is just too short.

Pretty when the soil came off
Once I got a few washed they looked very impressive; a lovely pink flush on creamy white skin blemished here and there by small tunnels (slugs and eel worms). I cut the bad bits out, washed and dried them, then rolled them in very good olive oil and sea salt, popping them into a very hot fan oven, 200c, for 30 minutes.

When they came out the outsides were lovely and golden, the insides soft and a little fluffy. They could be fluffier and maybe I should have left them in longer but they were actually done. I ate the lot, without anything other than some butter to compliment their skins covered in sea salt. Yes they were tasty, but worlds best baking spud?- I don't think so. If it's about their flavour-there was no amazing potato taste to report. If its about how they technically bake in their skins-yes they do look lovely but I'm not planning to look at them I want to eat them!

looking nice and golden in the plate
No doubt at least one of you completely disagrees with me on the subject of King Edwards and maybe that's the whole point too. Different people like different things, why else did so many varieties of spuds get developed in the first place? Read my scientific report with a good pinch of (sea) salt and don't let it put you off trying them out for yourself.

By the way there is a really thorough baking spuds experiment done on this blog if you have the time to read it word of mouth blog

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