got me think about something that has puzzled me for a while. Perhaps one of our potato farming forum members knows the answer.
When I was but a stripling, and Forum Editing was not even a gleam in my eye, I used to look forward to the Jersey Royal season. Those delicious little kidney shaped tubers that came coated with a fine layer of Jersey dust were a delight, boiled with their skins on and generously anointed with butter. You could make a meal of the waxy little beauties.
Now I see bags labelled 'Jersey Royal potatoes', but the contents are not Jersey Royals - they're very ordinary looking, and tasting, rather floury things. From Jersey they may be, but Royals they are not.
What's up doc?
I know the story of how Jersey Royals came about, by the way, I just want to know what happened to them.
Maybe your mother was better at cooking potatoes than you are! I had a conversation with an old Donegal farmer this morning who told me that people dont know how to cook spuds properly now. I must admit I glazed over part way through his description but it involved a saucepan covered with a cloth rather than a lid and the potatoes being taken from the pot when there was still a "bite" in the middle of them then left to finish off in a cloth covered bowl. He insisted they would not be floury cooked like this - but there was a lot more to it!
Not sure about Jersey Royals as I don't think I've ever tasted them, but during the school holidays (many years ago) as well as snedding turips and snuffing strawberries to earn an extra bit of pocket money, we used to gather spuds for the local farmer. During our break we used to retire to the barn for a cuppa and a sarnie, in there the farmer graded the spuds we gathered on some machine or other, were the smaller spuds fell through a vibrating grate, hence separating them from the larger spuds. My Point? Don't they do that anymore? Anytime I buy potatoes in the supermarket, they're all mixed in the bag, little ones and big ones, I hate that.
I think nowadays it may be a matter of luck. A couple of weeks ago I bought some potato's described as Jersey Royals from Morrisons. They were clean and when scraped the skin fell away from them just like in the old days. We had them boiled for about ten minutes in salted water and covered with a generous whack of butter. Absolutely delicious, they brought back memories of many years ago. I went to get some more last week but sadly they were not available.