Catriona potato

Ark of taste
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Catriona is what is known as a second early, with a harvest midway between the ‘earlies’ and the main crop. It has a distinctive purple eye colour which used to be a frequent visitor to the vegetable shows – not just a good looker but a great cooker. It has a a uniform oval shape, creamy colour and floury texture, blue-violet flowers and a smooth skin.

This variety comes from to Auchtermuchty, a village in Fife, where it was originally bred by the highly respected potato expert and enthusiast, Archibald Findlay in 1920.

The catriona potato was at one time grown by many gardeners in the Royal Burgh of Fife. It was named after the famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson’s heroine, Catriona, the love of David Balfour’s Kidnapped.

Today It is rare to find, it is grown by kitchen gardeners and allotment holders. In 2020, 0.01 hectares of precious seeds were almost lost.
The variety was replaced by a higher yielding better “looking” Kestrel – modern varietals always appeal to larger companies and supermarkets.

Catriona is slightly drier than the first earlies with a real potato flavour when boiled and makes excellent French fries mid summer.
Production is restricted to a handful of specialist growers who in turn sell the seed to the secondary grower now gardeners ot allotment holders who are the main drivers in helping preserve its viability.

Catriona are really attractive potatoes and very versatile whether steamed or boiled, roasted or fried.
Potatoes are popular in Scotland and used across a whole range of dishes and Catriona are delicious served with salads and cold cuts, a Sunday roast or chipped.

As it has been pushed into obscurity it is fabulous to bring it back along with the romantic story behind the name.
Andrew Skea

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Territory

StateUnited Kingdom
Region

Scottish Lowlands

Production area:Auchtermuchty Municipality, Fife region

Other info

Categories

Vegetables and vegetable preserves

Nominated by:Wendy Berrie, Andrew Skea, John Marshall