Around here farmers have crop-eating groundhogs, deer, and voles to contend with. In Alaska they have moose. And so we have a part of the story as to why potatoes are Alaska’s #1 vegetable crop.
According to the former Potato Disease Control Specialist with the state of Alaska, Bill Campbell (see photo below), who is also known as the “Potato Man” or “Potato Guru”, potatoes were a natural fit for the state. “If you’re just trying to subsist somewhere, you throw out 50 feet, 100 feet, of potatoes. You’ve got a stash for the winter, if you can keep them from freezing,” he said. An added benefit is that moose don’t like them.
When asked what he wanted his legacy to be, Bill responded “Happy people eating Magic Molly potatoes”. This week we are helping Bill achieve his dream by delivering two types of blue potatoes: Bill’s Magic Molly variety, which he named after his daughter, and the Adirondack Blue variety, which was released by Cornell University potato breeders Robert Plaisted, Ken Paddock, and Walter De Jong in 2003. The Adirondack Blue was specifically developed for the unique potato growing conditions of New York State.
Purple and blue potatoes have impressive anti-inflammatory properties and a research study showed that consuming six to eight small ones per day not only lowered the blood pressure of the participants but also caused no weight gain at all.
Blue potatoes are especially suited for making chips!
Slice the potatoes as thinly as possible, preferably using a mandolin. Toss the slices with salt. Let them sit for 15 minutes, since this helps remove moisture. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn and bake for about another 15 minutes.
This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Blue potatoes look like a food from some other universe! Blue potatoes contain health-promoting antioxidants called anthocyanins, which help reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and strokes by protecting cells from damage-causing free radicals. Consider pairing the blue potatoes with other visually-stimulating veggies for a truly colorful dish! Roast them with salt, butter and herbs for a side dish, or puree or mash them.