Wednesday, February 06, 2008
I returned home from the market today grinning from ear to ear. Inside my colorful straw basket, was something very exciting- a bag full of vitelotte noir potatoes! Now, they may not be the prettiest of the bunch on the outside, but just look at that goregous, psychadelically purple flesh! This ain't your normal everyday 'tatty', let me tell you!
The vitelotte noir, or 'black truffle potato' as the farmer called it, is an ancient potato variety which was grown by the Incas of Peru approximately 800 years ago. They were introduced in France around the middle of the 19th century. Vitelottes have a long, thin body and a dimpled, dark gray skin. Their flavor is nutty, almost chestnut- like and they are ideal for roasting or frying. I simply cut them into quarters and tossed them with a tablespoon of chilli oil, two fat cloves of crushed garlic, a pinch of maldon salt and lots of freshly ground pepper. Thirty minutes in a 200C oven was enough to give me the most delectable Wednesday afternoon lunch! I served them steaming hot with a dip made from two tablespoons crème fraîche, an utterly ripe red chilli and a bit of chopped parsley. Delicious!