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Viking potatoes are generally small to medium in size, averaging 7-10 centimeters in diameter, but can grow to a large size when given too much space in cultivation. The round to oblong tuber has smooth, firm skin with a few shallow eyes, and is covered in mottled shades of purple and red. Underneath the surface, the yellow to white flesh is dense, fine-grained, and moist. When cooked, Viking potatoes develop a tender, creamy consistency with a slightly sweet and earthy flavor.
Viking potatoes are available year-round.
Viking potatoes, botanically classified as Solanum tuberosum, are edible, underground tubers that grow from medium-sized leafy plants and are members of the Solanaceae or nightshade family along with tomatoes and eggplant. Also known as the Purple Viking potato, Viking potatoes are considered to be an all-purpose variety favored for its unique marbled skin. Viking potatoes are a rare cultivar that is not commercially produced on a large scale due to its inability to be used for processing. It is considered to be a specialty table variety that is mainly found through small farms and grocers.
Viking potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. They also contain iron, vitamin B6, and anthocyanins, which are potent antioxidants that give the tuber its purple-red hue and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent to boost the immune system in the body.
Viking potatoes are an all-purpose potato that is best suited for cooked applications such as baking, boiling, and frying. Their high moisture content makes them ideal for roasts, salads, and casseroles, but when cooked, the purple and red hues may fade into a purple-brown. Viking potatoes can also be roasted and smashed, formed into croquettes and fried, tossed into soups and stews, served with cooked meats, or mashed as a creamy side dish. Viking potatoes pair well with zucchini, artichokes, green beans, mushrooms, corn, meats such as beef, pork, poultry, and fish, goat cheese, and shallots. The tubers will keep over one month when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place.
In the United States, Viking potatoes are a popular home garden variety favored for their resistance to disease and vigorous growth habits. The plant produces a high yield, the anthocyanins or pigments in the skin help protect the tuber from external stressors such as sunlight and pests, and the tubers have the ability to store well, allowing growers to use them throughout the year. Home gardeners also favor the potato for its unique appearance and versatility in many different culinary preparations. Outside of home gardeners, some small farms also cultivate the variety for its novelty.
The exact origins of Viking potatoes are unknown, but some research has pointed to their creation at the North Dakota Experiment Station in the late 1900s. The red viking potato was created at the station in 1963, and the Purple Viking potato is believed to have been created from the red viking. Today Viking potatoes are found through specialty grocers, small farms, and in home gardens in the United States, Europe, and Asia. The potatoes in the photo above were found at a local market in Tokyo, Japan.
Recipes that include Vikings Potatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Driftless Organics||Purple Viking Potato and Vivid Choy Soup|
|I Can Cook That||Garlic and Dill Smashed Potatoes|
|The Patrician Palette||Salt Crusted Purple Viking Potato with Ginger and Basil Yougurt|