Monday, 6 August 2007


One thing that sure comes up to debate when socializing with the Finns is potatoes.

It is a question of which variety you are to prefer and the discussions sometimes tend to drag long as there always is someone with a different opinion form the majority of people present. There are the summers varieties of potatoes that do not keep well and has to be eaten right away and there are the winter potatoes that you later on can make potato mash of but the only variety I have never ever heard anyone in Finland preferring to anything else is Blue Congo.

And the name itself says it all, the potatoes are bluish purple in colour when cooked and it does really not resemble any other potatoes, may be the taste is the same but it feels odd with the colour of it.

Having finally established who likes which potato variety the next issue at hand turns always out to be how to cook them. It is not whether to deep fry them in oil into chips or make a gratin in the oven of them. Maybe what is best for mashed turns up but the main question is if you are to add the potatoes in cold water when cooking them or into boiling water? And naturally at the same time pondering whether cooking potatoes is to be preferred with their skins on or without it.

Most seem to agree about just brushing and washing the potatoes well in the summertime is enough as the skin is not as thick as in the wintertime but I just recently heard about a family that eat their boiled winter potatoes with their peels on just brushing them off then as well!

The reason for this potato skin discussion lies in that the most nutritious and healthiest part of the potato is said to be just underneath the skin but when potatoes are peeled the skin is thinner than paper and comes off easily and I have not heard any reasons for eating potato peel, I just wonder whether it is just pure laziness or maybe even ignorance about how to peel hot potatoes without making a mess out of it that makes them eat the skins even in the winter.

Anyway, I am not sure I really understand the necessity to always, every single day have to have potatoes. Not even though there are many varieties, it’s always just old, plain tatties.

But I guess it makes safe conversation at dinner parties.

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