Potatoes used for crisps tend to be high dry matter so that they fry well.
In the early days of crisp manufacture, GOLDEN WONDER was popular. This is the famous Scottish potato, dating from 1906. It is extraordinarily dry, so that a boiled 'Golden Wonder' can sometimes taste almost the same as one which has been fried. The crisps had a very characteristic flavour.
For many years, RECORD was the mainstay of the UK crisp industry. It was a favourite of that famous Organic grower and HDRA founder, Lawrence Hills. Like Golden Wonder it has an excellent flavour. The crisps it makes are deep golden brown. However the commercial men decided that today's crisps should be lighter in colour, and the best potato which satisfies this requirement is HERMES, another good-flavoured potato with high dry matter. This potato has now displaced Record for crisp manufacture.
Other varieties which are used in crisp making are ROOSTER, ATLANTIC and ERNTESTOLZ.
ROOSTER is an Irish potato introduced in 1993. It has an excellent flavour and dry matter almost as high as Golden Wonder.
ATLANTIC is another very dry potato grown commercially in Europe for processing, and it produces the pale coloured crisps which are now in fashion. The flavour is good.
ERNTESTOLZ is a German potato from 1976, with high dry matter (but lower than Rooster and Golden Wonder) and which doesn't disintegrate much when boiled. It is used by European crisp makers.
Other varieties listed by the British Potato Council as suitable for crisping are: Agria, Almera, Colleen, Courage, Fianna, Horizon, Lady Claire, Lady Jo, Lady Rosetta, Markies, Mayan Gold, Saturna, Setanta, Vales Everest.
Nigel Deacon / Diversity website / 2010
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