Favourite potatoes - Mandel

In the UK this potato is a rarity, and is not available as seed tubers. It is similar to Shetland Black in appearance, but the purple ring is less pronounced and in many tubers, almost absent. I've only grown it once in containers and noted the following - average yield for a 2 gallon container about 1.5 lb, behaves like a second early; ready around 7 July. Prone to scab, doesn't attract slugs, fairly susceptible to early and late blight (around 4 on blight scale). No flowers- abort at the bud stage. Bluish-purple skin.

Mandel cooks like no other potato I have met. It has to be steamed; after about 5 minutes it starts to crack, at which point it has a lovely yellow colour and an attractive fluffy texture. Excellent flavour, and my "find" of the year. Very good with fish. Can't really be boiled; disintegrates too quickly.

A researcher in the potato industry adds: "Mandel is a new one on me but looking it up in my "World Catalogue of Potato varieties" tells me it was bred in 1951 and now mainly cultivated in Sweden & Norway. Mid to late maturity, long,oval, deepish eyes, yellow flesh suitable for table or processing. Suggests a relatively high dry matter waxy potato prone to bruising because of its DM and shape. I doubt if our packing equipment would deal with it (too long). Often good varieties like Wilja are dropped because of their shape which leads to end bruising and difficult to pack. "


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