One of the most unusual varieties of potato which has only been in existence for 18 years is due to make an appearance at this weekend’s East Anglia Potato Day.
Piccolo Star, which was first propagated in the Netherlands in 1991, is one variety among more than 80 others coming to the event taking place at Stonham Barns on Saturday, February 9.
Few growers are aware of the white-skinned tubers with light yellow flesh and it is expected to become a favourite salad potato due to its floury and waxy texture, while it also resists one of the most common pests that attack the crop.
East Anglia Potato Day is organised and run entirely by volunteers from Norfolk Organic Group, Suffolk Organic Gardeners and Ipswich Organic Gardeners Group.
The event attracts hundreds of people from all over East Anglia, eager to explore trade and craft stands, sample local food and take part in activities like chip tasting and seed potato swaps. Seed potato tubers are available for 17p each.
Julian Turner, who helps organise the event, said: “Old hands helping at Potato Days are often asked to find salad varieties.
“In ordinary speak, this means you can boil them and they do not break up. They are waxy rather than floury. We probably sell more Charlotte than anything else for the same reason.
“Our friend Piccolo Star is not quite as waxy as Charlotte but getting on for it, and the bit more flouriness will enhance its flavour.
“The skins are cleaner and it even resists one of the potato cyst nematode pests. It deserves more recognition. Look out for it this year as we may not be able to get it next year.
“As Michael Caine would have said: ‘Not a lot of people know that.’ We say: ‘Hopefully a few more people do know now.’”
Stonham Barns has a leisure and shopping village with a range of attractions as well as a showground that hosts a range of events throughout the year, including classic car shows, fireworks events and a Christmas spectacular.