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Ambo potatoes are medium in size and are long, oval, to round in shape. The semi-smooth skin ranges in color from light beige to brown and there are vibrant blushes of red and pink that cover large areas on the surface. There are also many deep, red-hued eyes found across the skin. The flesh is creamy white, firm, and slippery. Ambo potatoes are both waxy and floury and have a neutral, earthy flavor.
Ambo potatoes are available in the late summer through winter.
Ambo potatoes, botanically classified as Solanum tuberosum ‘Ambo,’ are an Irish-bred early season variety that is considered to be a modern alternative to the king edward potato. A cross between the popular European variety, desiree, and the Irish variety, cara, Ambo potatoes are an all-purpose variety that was selected for their drought tolerance, resistance to disease, and high yield.
Ambo potatoes are high in antioxidants, vitamin C and B, potassium, and thiamin
Ambo potatoes are best suited for cooked applications such as boiling, baking, and roasting and are excellent at holding their shape. The skin can be left on when cooked and will provide the highest amount of nutrients. Ambo potatoes can be boiled and added to potato salads or a classic Niçoise salad. They can also be used in baked dishes such as scalloped potatoes or simply baked whole and served as a stand-alone side dish. Ambo potatoes pair well with crème Fraiche, wholegrain mustard, chives, and Greek yogurt. They will keep up to a month when stored in a dark, cool, and dry place. Do not wash potatoes until ready to use, as washing them will shorten storage time.
Ambo potatoes were developed and bred at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority, which is one of the largest, most advanced potato breeding programs located in Ireland. Teagasc uses cutting-edge research and technology to create improved potato varieties that are resistant to disease and have desirable qualities that are being sought after in the market. The Ambo potato was one of thirty named varieties created by the Irish company for commercial markets worldwide.
Ambo potatoes were developed in the late 1980s by an Irish potato breeding company called Teagasc and with the Oak Park Research Center in Carlow, Ireland. Ambo potatoes were registered at the beginning of 1991 and were introduced to the market in the mid-1990s. Today Ambo potatoes are most commonly found in specialty markets in England, Ireland, and on the surrounding Channel Islands.