The SCRI (1930s-1970s),
Craigs and Pentlands

The Scottish Crop Research Institute was established in 1920 as the Scottish Plant Breeding Centre. It raised many new potato varieties, including the 'Craigs' (1930 and 1940s) and the 'Pentlands' (1950s and 1960s, brought out alphabetically).

This was a very prolific yielder, and during the 1970s it was Britain's most popular potato, replacing Majestic as the top variety. Unfortunately the flavour was only average to poor, and it was the first potato to be banned by a supermarket chain for lack of flavour (they even advertised in the papers saying that they no longer stocked it!). However, it was drought resistant, robust, disease resistant, and extremely productive. It was one of Alan Gemmell's 'Top Ten' varieties.

This is an early maincrop variety which initially had very good blight resistance. Unfortunately this broke down after a few years. It is a popular commercial variety, especially for frozen chips, having high dry matter. (7, a little higher than King Edward and Kerr's Pink) It has creamy white flesh, good flavour, and mashes well. It has to be boiled carefully (steaming is better) because like most floury potatoes it tends to disintegrate easily.

It can also be eaten immature and waxy; the taste is quite good. It is a very good potato for processing. Crops are heavy and the tubers are even-shaped and more or less cyclindrical so are easy to deal with.

A maincrop, good for storing (doesn't sprout until very late). Dry matter 6, white skin, white flesh, good eating quality.

Pictures (click on small images for detail):


This is a first early, a bit later than most first earlies. It can be left in the ground to become a maincrop. The tubers are round, the flesh and skin are white, and there is good flavour and disease resistance.It was bred by Jack Dunnett when he worked at Pentlandfield (now SCRI). Dry matter content is 4.

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