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Estima potatoes are large, oval to round tubers, with a uniform, curved shape. The skin is smooth, ranging in color from light yellow, tan, to cream-colored, and is mostly unblemished with a few shallow eyes. Underneath the surface, the flesh is firm, dense, and pale yellow with a fine-grained texture. Estima potatoes contain a low-moisture content and develop a fluffy, floury consistency when cooked. The variety is considered to be a neutral-flavored potato with a mild, earthy, and subtly sweet taste.
Estima potatoes are available in the late spring through summer.
Estima potatoes, botanically classified as Solanum tuberosum, are a table variety belonging to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. There are over one hundred varieties of potatoes grown in the United Kingdom, but less than half of these tubers are considered to be aesthetically pleasing for consumer markets. Estima potatoes, with their smooth skin and large size, are one of the most popular, everyday varieties commercially sold within the United Kingdom. Since their introduction in the late 1970s, the uniform tubers are regarded as an all-round variety, valued for their versatility in culinary applications, and are often labeled as a “baker” when sold in supermarkets. Estima potatoes are also a favored home garden variety in the United Kingdom for their high-yields, drought-tolerance, and uniform shape.
Estima potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system. The tubers are also a good source of potassium, which assists the body to regulate fluid levels and contain some fiber, iron, folate, and vitamin B6.
Estima potatoes are best suited for cooked applications such as baking, boiling, frying, roasting, and mashing. The variety is known for holding its shape well when cooked and is considered an all-rounder, meaning it can be used in a wide variety of preparations. Estima potatoes are popularly boiled and mashed, accompanying roasted meats and sausages, used as a filling for meat pies, incorporated into soups, or sliced for gratins. They can also be roasted or boiled and tossed into salads, quartered and cooked in stews, sliced into wedges and fried, or baked into casseroles. In the United Kingdom, Estima potatoes are frequently used in dauphinoise potatoes, which is an originally French dish consisting of thinly sliced spuds cooked in a sauce made from garlic, gruyere cheese, and cream. Estima potatoes pair well with cheeses such as mozzarella, parmesan, and cheddar, meats such as pork, beef, poultry, and chorizo, bell peppers, tomatoes, leeks, herbs such as parsley, rosemary, and thyme, paprika, chives, and green onions. The tubers store well and will keep for 2 to 12 weeks when placed in a cool, dry, and dark place.
In Bushmills, Northern Ireland, an annual potato festival is held in the fall to celebrate the staple starch and its importance as an everyday ingredient. It has been reported that over 130kg of potatoes are consumed yearly throughout the United Kingdom. During the festival, visitors can attend live cooking demonstrations, sample many different potato varieties, including Estima potatoes, and learn about potato cultivation from local growers. There is also a face paint booth where younger visitors can get a potato painted on their faces. In addition to education, the festival celebrates the tuber’s versatility in culinary preparations, featuring traditional potato dishes of the United Kingdom, such as bangers and mash, which consists of mashed potatoes served with sausages and gravy. The term “bangers” was derived from the sound that water-filled sausages made when they exploded in the cooking process during World War I. In the modern-day, bangers and mash is considered to be one of the most popular potato and meat-based meal in the United Kingdom.
Estima potatoes were created by J.P. and P.R. Dijkhuis in Warfhuizen, Netherlands, and were released to market in 1972. The variety was bred from a cross between an unnamed cultivar, G3014, and the nopol potato. After the variety’s release, Estima potatoes became commercially successful around 1976 for their large, unblemished appearance, and were a popular variety sold in supermarkets. Today Estima potatoes are still widely found in supermarkets throughout the United Kingdom and are a favored variety for home gardening, sold in seed form through online retailers. The variety can also be found in home gardens in Canada.