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May Queen Potatoes
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May Queen potatoes are large and oval to round in shape. Its smooth, pastel yellow skin has shallow eyes spread across the surface. Its soft, ivory flesh has a firm, waxy texture and once cooked, the May Queen potato offers sweet and mild flavors.
May Queen potatoes are available in the late summer through winter.
The May Queen potato, botanically classified as Solanum tuberosum ‘May Queen,’ is an early season variety that originated in the United Kingdom and was first known as Walker’s Seedling. Today, the May Queen potato is now a commonly found throughout Japan, especially in Nagasaki. It is the second most popular variety in Japan next to the Danshaku.
May Queen potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B6, and fiber.
May Queen potatoes are best suited for cooked applications such as steaming, sautéing, boiling, and roasting. As a low-starch potato, May Queen potatoes have a high moisture content and keep their shape beautifully which makes it great in potato salads. It is also popular to be used in curries, with meats as a side dish, and can even be eaten for breakfast when prepared as home fries. May Queen potatoes pair well with pork, rosemary, thyme, sage, carrots, poultry, chives, and beef. Store May Queen potatoes in a cool, dry, and dark place.
The May Queen was bred in Gloucestershire, England, by a farmer named Mr. Walker, and was originally called “Walker’s Seedling.” Eventually, it found its way to Japan, where it is now one of the most popular potato cultivars in the country. In Assabu, a town in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, it is grown so often that a May Queen potato is the town’s mascot.
The May Queen potato originated in the United Kingdom and in 1908 Baron Ryukichi Kawata, a senior executive of an agricultural company, imported and planted several potato varieties including the May Queen in Japan. As potatoes became extremely successful in feeding populations when famines ransacked the island nation, they were suddenly valued as a reliable food source. Today, May Queen potatoes are commonly grown and found in Japan and can also be found in parts of Europe.