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Tales from the Kitchen Garden:The Duke’s Potatoes

Alan Romans is an extraordinary grower of potatoes and holds the National Collection of potato varieties in Fife. Alan has also published a book, The Potato Book and a guide to seed potatoes. Recently I saw large fields of tatties at Falkland Palace resort; this and the Highlands of Scotland are important production areas for seed potatoes. Each October in Scotland, the school holiday falls around the time of the main crop potato harvest, historically to allow children to assist with the work. Here at The Torridon we have been harvesting some of our crops of second earlies with, amongst them, a number of Heritage potatoes or Conservation varieties. You will have gathered growing potatoes is a serious business, particularly in Scotland and Ireland where the failure could be devastating in the past. Heritage potatoes are still grown to give a strong gene pool should we need to revert to them. We have lifted our Highland Burgundy Reds, a potato with a red centre and burgundy red inner skin and said to have been named in 1936 when the Duke of Burgundy sat down to plateful at the Savoy Hotel in London. The red characteristics are produced by antioxidants which can have health benefits. Another of our heritage crop bred in Dunbar is the white Dunbar Rover a dry floury type of potato. Whilst listening to the Scottish Football results, “Dunbar Rovers” always used to come up among the Scottish teams. I wonder if they had a post or pre match feast of these tatties.


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Dan & Rohaise are proud owners of The Torridon a family run and independent Hotel and resort. Passionate about food, service, provenance and promoting hospitality as an Industry of choice, especially for young people.

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