Anyne tried 'Jersey Royals' (aka 'International Kidney') potatoes?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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A._BadgerA._Badger Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
Over the years I've become increasingly disappointed by the taste of commercially grown Jersey Royals and have often wondered if it's worth trying to grow them myself, in an attempt to recapture that once wonderful flavour.

I see that many seed potato suppliers are offering 'international kidney' (essentially the same thing, as far as I can see) and was wondering whether anyone here has tried them and, if so, what they were like.

My guess is that the commercially grown ones have lost their taste because of intensive cultivation (decreased use of seaweed - once reckoned to be a factor in the taste?), so my plan would be to try them in raised beds, with as must seaweed input as I manage.

Has anyone any experience they would share?
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  • SlinkySlinky Forumite
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    Would be interested also to see if anybody has any advice on this. I lived in Jersey for a few years and have noticed that the spuds no longer taste as good as they used to - I think it's down to them being forced under plastic.
  • oliveoyloliveoyl Forumite
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    There's a bit of info here. It seems that seaweed (spread in November) and slopes play a big part in growing them.
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  • JnelhamsJnelhams Forumite
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    More to do with the Soil type, have you tried growing Pink Fir Apple potatos? These are really quite good and rarely in the shops.
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  • A._BadgerA._Badger Forumite
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    Thanks, oliveoyl, but your link got lost along the way.

    Jnelhams: I have, but PFA has a markedly different taste and it's that that I'm after.

    As for soil type, that is a possibility, though the experts suggest it's more down to the use of seaweed, as Slinky says.

    As several sources offer International Kidney (and T&M claims it even has a potentially superior equivalent) I'm trying to find someone who has grown them.

    Curiously, even Googling the gardening blogs and sites hasn't produced much, yet. Looks like it might be a lonely quest!
  • These taste different if they're allowed to grow for too long.

    http://www.alanromans.com/p-1702-international-kidney.aspx

    I tried them last year and wasn't impressed with either the yield or the taste. But it might have been the way I grew them. The seaweed might be worth a try.

    Good luck!
  • A._BadgerA._Badger Forumite
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    Thanks, tangojulie.

    In the end, I decided to grown Pentland Javelin in my raised beds and will try just a few International Kidneys in growing pags using soilless compost with liberal applications of seaweed extract.

    Well, it keeps me off the streets!
  • I have grown potatoes for years and have grown "international kidney" but they are not as good as the Jersey Royals that we can buy, soil types differ, so many factors that could affect the end product. They were nice but not AS nice as the shop bought early Jerseys. There are better alternatives.

    You can't go wrong with Pentland Javelin, always very successful, and a tasty potato.
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  • A._BadgerA._Badger Forumite
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    I wonder if it is soil type? Or perhaps warmer days, earlier in the life cycle? There are so many variables.

    What interests me is the lack of taste of the commercially grown ones. If you ask people on Jersey they (understandably) get very defensive about this but I don't believe I'm alone in thinking that the Jersey potatoes we are sold today have nothing like the sweet, buttery taste we were used to as children.

    If I can't grow better tasting "Jerseys" than the ones from Tesco, I'll have failed. What I want to do is see if I can get back to the way they used to be.
  • oliveoyloliveoyl Forumite
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    TOP MONEYSAVING TIP

    Make your own Pot Noodles using a flower pot, sawdust and some old shoe laces. Pour in boiling water, stir then allow to stand for two minutes before taking one mouthful, and throwing away. Just like the real thing!
  • I bought 'Jersey' aka International Kidney potatoes last year to see whether they came close to the shop bought variety, I have to admit they didn't taste the same but we had a bumper crop of hand sized potatoes that stored well and kept the family going into the New Year. I say give them a try if you have some garden space to spare.:)
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