I just had "Purple Viking" mashed potato. Purple Viking is a fairly new variety, said to make the very best mashed potatoes.
Potatoes are generally not grown from true seed, but rather parts of another potato (so called "seed" potato). You have no doubt seen sprouts on your potatoes if you store them too long. If you cut the sprouted potato so that each piece has a sprout, and plant the pieces, you, too, can grow potatoes. Generally 5 lbs of "seed" will get you 50 lbs of crop, so it takes time to build supply of a new variety.
Purple Viking has purple skin and snow white flesh, and organic seed is reasonably available this year. (if you want some for your home garden, google "Maine potato lady"). I bought some and decided to eat some before planting the rest. I also gave 3 good sized spuds to my brother to "test". His wife, being of Ukranian decent considers herself to be a potato expert by blood. My family agrees that Purple Viking is the best masher ever. My sister in law and her kids think so too. My brother thinks it is all hype, and a potato is a potato.
IMO, if you see Purple Viking at a farmers market this summer, you shoud buy some. It will be a few more years before it shows up in mainstream supermarkets. YUM!
Update, Mar 25, 2009. THe Maine Potato Lady is long since sold out of Purple Viking. I would have ordered more. Look for it at farmer's markets this summer, and if you see it, buy it!!! I have already had 2 unsolicited calls from chiefs asking if I will have it this summer. (More and more restaurants shop at farmers markets, in season, as the "Eat Local" fad gains steam) Speaking of fads, they were not especially interested that I will have a larger supply of Mirai (tm) sweet corn this summer. Mirai corn is still great, but I guess it is so "last year".
post edited by tmiles - 2009/03/25 16:39:08