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Pink Fir Potatoes
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Pink Fir Apple potatoes are elongated, narrow, and small with a knobby appearance. The shape of the tuber can take many different forms depending on its growing environment and ranges from cylindrical and somewhat straight to very bumpy and irregular in shape with multiple nodes. The skin is smooth, semi-thick, and can also vary in color from cream-colored to light brown with pink blushing and shallow eyes. Underneath the surface, the flesh is firm, dense, waxy, and pale yellow to gold. Pink Fir Apple potatoes, when cooked, retain their shape and have an earthy, rich, and nutty flavor.
Pink Fir Apple potatoes are available in the fall through winter.
Pink Fir Apple potatoes, botanically classified as Solanum tuberosum, are a French heritage variety belonging to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Classified as a late-season variety, Pink Fir Apple potatoes have been cultivated as a salad potato in Europe since the 19th century but were once rare to find in local markets due to their irregular shape. In the 21st century, the tubers have seen a revival through chef and gardener endorsements and are now praised for their unusual shape, rich, nutty flavor, high yields, and extended storage capabilities. Pink Fir Apple potatoes are harvested by hand at specialty farms, especially in the United Kingdom, and are sold as a high-end, specialty variety.
Pink Fir Apple potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can help protect the immune system and increase collagen production within the body. The tubers also contain phosphorus, potassium, fiber, iron, magnesium, and vitamin B6.
Pink Fir Apple potatoes are best suited for cooked applications such as steaming, roasting, or boiling. The knobby potatoes have edible skin and should be cooked with their skin on to reduce preparation times as peeling the unusually shaped tuber can be tedious. The tubers are most popularly known for their use as a salad potato, commonly boiled and used hot or cold with fresh herbs, greens, and sauces. Pink Fir Apple potatoes can also be sliced and baked into chips, roasted as a filling side dish, or boiled and lightly mashed. Pink Fir Apple potatoes pair well with apples, tomatoes, beets, spinach, arugula, herbs such as tarragon, lovage, and dill, mozzarella and feta, legumes, leeks, capers, Dijon mustard, anchovies, mackerel, and other meats such as poultry or steak. The tubers will keep 2-3 months when stored whole in a cool, dry, and dark place.
Pink Fir Apple potatoes are one of the oldest heritage varieties still in production and have been saved over time for their nutty flavor, extended storage capabilities, and cultivation as a maincrop. Though the knobby potatoes are now considered a novel, specialty variety in the modern-day, the cultivar was almost absent from the markets for many years due to its unusual shape and displacement by modern, uniform types. With a resurgence in growing unique heritage cultivars with non-conforming shapes in home gardens, Pink Fir Apple potatoes gradually increased in popularity and became a potato now widely seen at farmer’s markets in Europe. The tubers were also awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Garden of Merit as a quality salad potato and are rumored to have been once grown in the gardens at Balmoral Castle, used in salad preparations for the Royal Family’s annual visit every August.
Pink Fir Apple potatoes are believed to be native to France and were first imported into the United Kingdom in 1850. Today the heritage variety can be seen at local farmer’s markets across Europe and are also sold through online seed catalogs for home garden use.
Recipes that include Pink Fir Potatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.