Originally from East Lothian, Scotland, the Dunbar Rover is a heritage potato and second early registered in 1936. It was awarded the Lord Derby Gold Medal in 1937 for its eating quality.
It was appreciated and grown in Northern Ireland until it was replaced by other commercial varieties: It was one of these forgotten varieties that no commercial producer was prepared to grow any more. Indeed, modern varieties are bred for the supermarket demands of smooth skins, shallow eyes and efficient commercial washing.
The Dunbar Rover variety has deep eyes and netted skin. The flesh is floury, and it has a pleasant sweet flavour. Devotees say An old variety that looks a bit rough but tastes wonderful!
It was bred by Charles T. Spence, Tynefield Farm, Dunbar, a recognised and highly regarded potato breeder, known for a number of his varietals in Dunbar, others being the Standard, Archer, Cavalier and Yeoman .
It is termed a second early and produces a good yield of mid-summer eaters and is storable for winter consumption. Its name identifies its location and heritage and there are those, particularly in East Lothian, who value it.
Luckily, today there is a renewed interest in its home region of Dunbar in Scotland.
Indeed, the variety has just been reintroduced from the Scottish government archive plots and there are now gardeners and restaurants in the Dunbar area that are keen to see it reinstated.
Commercial production on a small scale is just being revived, sourced through government national collection and the micro- propagation technique. The build-up to a saleable quantity once again is a lengthy and expensive exercise.
An ideal potato with a superb flavour to enjoy with a wide range of summer and winter main course dishes. It has excellent cooking qualities and produces a heavy crop.
It has a lovely buttery flavour and fine fluffy texture. It is suitable for baking, boiling, roasting, mashing or chipping.
This is an opportunity to revive the variety and meet the expectations of people living and gardening in the Dunbar area, Andrew Skea, Auchterhouse.