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Ingredient of the week: Jersey Royals

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13 MAY 2009

The ultimate in new potatoes, Jersey Royals are at their best when simply boiled in salted water with a few mint leaves, before being rolled in melted butter and sprinkled with good sea salt. These little gems are Jersey’s main export, shipped all over the world and often known by their slightly less romantic name of the international kidney.

They grow on the steep slopes that run down to the sea and local seaweed, vraic, is used as fertiliser. These are unique - the only fresh product in the UK to have the protection of ‘designation of origin’ which is designed to protect the reputation of regional food.

The skin of these potatoes is so delicate that the equipment used to harvest them is tested on an egg – the theory being that if the egg survives undamaged, so will the skin.

When harvested, the potatoes are divided into three categories based on size, from the largest, ‘ware’, to the medium-sized ‘small ware’ and the smallest ‘mids’.

These are a precious seasonal product – which are at their prime from april to june - that we should be extremely proud of. They're the perfect accompaniment to many a supper.