Over the last few weeks we are increasingly experiencing spuds which won't cook, by which I mean they don't soften when boiled, but remain stubbornly as hard as they were when raw - same consistency.
3 different varieties. Harmony, Albert Rooster and Fianna. That has exhausted our town's choice. It is too late (and we are too hungry) to get in car to search for different spuds further afield, now, so we'll make the best that we can of it for now.
Incidentally, we have friends who have complained of this phenomenon recently, too.
Anyone any idea what is going on? Is it to do with the awful summer? The lack of bees? The Dark Lord has uttered a spell and ruined the potato crops, or lowered the boiling point of water?
The Fianna spuds I got yesterday did cook OK - they seemed to be still quite hard after boiling for 15mins, but we bunged them in the oven for roasting anyway and kept our fingers crossed. They were pretty nice actually.
Now I have a feeling that Fianna spuds originated in Holland. Maybe they're the ones you're talking about, Newforestpony?
So, the bad summer is responsible. Too wet, not enough sun. Now I want to know the chemistry
My husband reliably tells me that the poor potatoes are due to the wet summer we've had. He should know as he's the Sales Manager for a food supply company and was a professional chef for 20 years. They aren't expecting any improvement until the next crop, I'm afraid.
We're struggling with the same problem at home too, but have all the professional moulinex potato ricers, steamers, etc to try to deal with it - still discarding hard lumps.
He says there is a Dutch potato that should be better, so not so great to Buy British on this occasion.
We're eating a lot more mash this year... my potato ricer will cope with the bizarre mix we end up with, even the solid middles go through and cook through that little bit extra when I warm it through with a bit of milk & butter.
We usually buy Maris Pipers. At the moment they cook for ages while staying totally solid, then suddenly turn to soggy mush,but not all at the same time, so I have a pan half-full of mush and half-full of not-cooked-yet potatoes. I think it has been the terrible summer.