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Cyprus potatoes above all are known by potato enthusiasts as one of the most superior potatoes on the market. Cyprus potatoes come in varying shapes and sizes depending upon specific variety. When sold as a fresh, loose soil potato Cyprus types have a slightly red appearance, a result of the famous mineral-rich red soils of Cyprus. The potatoes are known for their exceptional quality and have a nearly blemish-free skin. Their taste and texture will vary slightly depending upon variety and is said to have a buttery flavor and texture ranging from firm to fluffy. Cyprus potatoes are also known among growers for their exceptional disease resistance.
Cyprus potatoes are harvested fall, winter and spring and are available year-round.
Cyprus potatoes, botanically known as a part of Solanum tuberosum and a member of the Solanaceae family. Cyprus potato and Cypriot potato are general names given to an array of potatoes grown in the red clay soils of the Island of Cyprus. The main varieties grown today are diamant, spunta, marfona, nicola, ditta, accent, filea, charlotte, superstar, burren, obelix, slaney, and spunta. Since becoming a part of the European Union in 2004, all exports from Cyprus must meet a high standard of EU established regulations when it comes to growing, producing, and packing the potatoes. This has stood to increase further the exceptional quality regarding appearance and taste that the Cyprus potato has come to be known. While the potatoes are distributed in Cyprus, they are predominately exported and are the number one export crop of Cyprus today. In Cyprus, there are several growers associations as well as the Cyprus Potato Marketing Board that analyze market trends annually to ensure the continuation of growing specific Cyprus potato types to meet the demand of varying markets.
The Cyprus potato offers vitamin C and B6 as well as iron, magnesium, copper, potassium and folic acid.
A multitude of Cyprus varieties exist and are grown specifically to meet the needs of varying markets and potato preferences. Marfona and cara are ideal as a baking potato. Belgian and German markets prefer a good salad potato such as charote, annabella, nicola, and filea. When a floury potato is desired, slaney and cara are an excellent choice. Depending upon type Cyprus potatoes can be roasted, boiled, baked, fried, or steamed. In addition to their popularity as a fresh produce item, they are also commonly sold to chip and crisp manufacturers for processing then exported. One of the most popular accompaniments for Cyprus potatoes is the herb mint; additionally, they will pair nicely with parsley, pesto, tomatoes, garlic, onions, lemon, roast lamb, olive oil, white pepper, coriander, oregano, and feta cheese. Do not refrigerate or store Cyprus potatoes in direct sunlight, rather, keep the potatoes in a cool, dry, and dark place. For best flavor and texture Cyprus potatoes should be used within two weeks unless kept in a root cellar.
Recently in Europe, there has been a shift in demand in the supermarkets from pre-washed and packaged potatoes that have dominated the market for some time to a return to loose potatoes. This trend stands to serve better the appeal of the Cyprus grown Cyprus potato as it showcases their distinct red soil grown Cyprus appearance.
Cyprus potatoes originated on the island of Cyprus located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and a member state of the European Union. The seed potatoes used to grow Cyprus potatoes mainly come out of Holland with a small amount coming from Scotland. Cyprus potatoes have long been almost exclusively grown in Cyprus though they are distributed throughout Europe and are particularly popular in the United Kingdom and Greece. In 2010 sales to 20 European countries were reported including the Ukraine and Russia. There has also been recently an onset of other growers not in Cyprus growing and distributing Cyprus potatoes. This has inspired the Cyprus Potato Marketing Board to push for a focus on referring the potatoes in marketing as “red soil potatoes” rather than Cyprus in an effort to create demand for Cyprus that are grown in the islands unique soils. In Cyprus, the potatoes are grown for the most part in the southeastern coastal region which is known for their mineral-rich red soil. Cyprus potatoes prefer the mild, frost-free environment of this region and as a result can be grown nearly year-round there.
Recipes that include Cyprus Potatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.