Potatoes a vegatable produced in Tasmania

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Tasmanian Potatoes
Tasmania country

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson And Roger McShane
Address: Tasmania
Country: Australia

The Mason-Dixon line that differentiates Boags and Cascade drinkers also divides Bismarck eaters from Pink-eye eaters. Bismarcks are grown in the north and north-west, and Pink-eyes in the south. Tasmanians are very definite about using different varieties of potato for different purposes. Bismarcks and Pink-eyes are excellent 'new' potatoes, delicious boiled or steamed. If you see them together, Pink-eyes are slightly yellow-fleshed and Bismarcks are very white. Up-to-dates are the best baked potatoes, though they are also good mashed if they are steamed rather than boiled first. Brownells are good all-rounders and Kennebeks are favoured for baking.
You'll see potatoes sold by varietal name in greengrocers, rather than as just 'potatoes', and it's worth experimenting with different cooking methods for the different varieties. Look for the unwashed ones - they may be a little more trouble when you get them home but you can be sure they were recently picked. If a potato is advertised as ‘new' you should be able to rub through the still-moist half-formed skin with your fingers. Ideally, the soil should have that ‘newly dug' look about it too. It will be red on the north-west coast Bismarcks and grey and sandier on the southern Pink-eyes, which come from places like South Arm and Nubeena.
As well as these traditional stalwart varieties, new ones have appeared in recent years. On a large scale, there's Russet Burbank, grown in the north-west and used to make chips for some of the largest fast-food chains in the country. Bintjes have been another successful crop. They are perfect for steaming, holding together well, and being firm and waxy. They are common in restaurants. The Jersey Royal, a potato designed for steaming or boiling whole, is being produced on King Island.
You should have no difficulty finding a good selection of potatoes. They are sold by the side of the road and the greengrocers we've featured should have a good range. In summer, you'll often also find Pink-eyes at the Sorell Fruit Farm, along with freshly picked local peas.
Our only worry with respect to potato production in Tasmania is that many farmers use far too much water and fertiliser on their potato crops. This is based on the totally erroneous notion that a sign of good farming is high yields! If you want strong, good-tasting potatoes the amount of water and fertiliser must be reduced not increased otherwise they become water bags with little flavour and an unpleasant texture.

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