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May Queen Potatoes
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May Queen potatoes are medium to large in size and are oval to oblong with a somewhat uniform shape. The smooth, pastel yellow to light brown skin has small brown spots, dents, and a few, shallow eyes spread across the surface. The pale yellow to ivory flesh is dense, firm, and moist. When cooked, May Queen potatoes have a waxy texture, hold their shape well, and offer sweet and mild, earthy flavors.
May Queen potatoes are available in the late summer through winter.
May Queen potatoes, botanically classified as Solanum tuberosum ‘May Queen,’ are an early season variety that originated in the United Kingdom and was first known as Walker’s Seedling. Today, the May Queen potato is commonly found throughout Japan as it was introduced during the early 19th century to help combat famine. It is the second most popular variety in Japan next to the Danshaku and is especially valued in the city of Nagasaki. May Queen potatoes have a mild flavor that complements many different spices and are used in a variety of diverse culinary applications.
May Queen potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B6, and fiber.
May Queen potatoes are best suited for cooked applications such as steaming, sautéing, boiling, and roasting. As a low-starch potato, May Queen potatoes have a high moisture content and hold their shape beautifully which makes them ideal in potato salads. They are also popularly used in curries, stews, as an accompaniment to meat dishes, and can even be eaten for breakfast when prepared as home fries. May Queen potatoes pair well with pork, rosemary, thyme, sage, carrots, poultry, chives, and beef. They will keep for a couple of weeks when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place.
The May Queen was bred in Gloucestershire, England, by a farmer named Mr. Walker, and was originally called Walker’s Seedling. Eventually, it found its way to Japan, where it is now one of the most popular potato cultivars in the country. In Assabu, a town in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, it is grown so often that the May Queen potato is the town’s mascot.
The May Queen potato originated in the United Kingdom, and in 1908 Baron Ryukichi Kawata, a senior executive of an agricultural company imported and planted several potato varieties including the May Queen in Japan. As potatoes became extremely successful in feeding populations when famines ransacked the island nation, they were suddenly valued as a reliable food source. Today, May Queen potatoes are commonly grown and found in Japan and can also be found in parts of Europe.
Recipes that include May Queen Potatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.
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