Saturday, September 8, 2012

I Will Never Date A Purple Potato


I remember when purple potatoes first started showing up in the markets…probably the early 80’s. I recall having a funny first impression of them. Purple wasn’t a ‘natural’ food color was it? They couldn’t look good next to a steak, could they?
When cooked they looked like mom bleached my favorite purple tie-dyed shirt! Not a great look for mashed potatoes. They didn’t seem to taste much different, or, certainly not any better than other potatoes back then (not a high hurdle unfortunately.) So, they never found a place in my pantry. 

Recently I found myself drawn into giving them another chance. There have been lots of new potatoes at the farmer’s market lately. They looked striking! Maybe it was time to give them another chance.

I tried including them in my favorite summertime dish, wild Pacific salmon and potatoes. I can’t really articulate why this combination floats my boat, but there’s something about the delicate flavor of the sea (grilled over charcoal) with the earthy potato (boiled, grilled, salted or all of the above) that makes me weak in the knees. 

You can see the pic above, and it was good. But, the potatoes didn’t exactly hold up their end of the deal. They look great but they weren’t all that earthy, even freshly plucked from the ground. 

Ok, maybe they needed something more. If you ask me, the things that make potatoes sing (besides butter and salt) are onions, garlic and chorizo. A match made in heaven! Here is the pic and I can’t say it drives me wild visually. I’m afraid to say it didn’t do much for me taste-wise either. The potatoes taste like the oil I fried them in…canola. Texture, a little cardboard-like. In all these delicious flavors, the purple potato couldn’t assert any personality.

In the future, I won’t be seduced by their color or knowing they recently came from the earth. With purple potatoes…beauty is in the eye of the beholder…but certainly not mine in this case.

1 comment :

  1. I am with you Jeff. Purple potatoes look good raw but cooked, well, they leave something to be desired.

    It is funny now that I think about it - many speakers are like that too. The title of their talk may be good, they may be attractive and charismatic, but when they speak - OY. I try to replay their talks in my head at 3 AM when I am having trouble going to sleep.

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