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Frieslander potatoes are round to oval tubers with a uniform appearance and blunt, curved ends. The skin is semi-smooth, very thin, and firm with medium-set eyes, and ranges in color from tan, pale yellow, to cream-colored with a few dark brown spots scattered across the surface. Underneath the thin skin, the flesh is yellow to ivory, dense, floury, and moderately dry. When cooked, Frieslander potatoes have a fluffy and slightly crumbly consistency with a neutral, earthy taste.
Frieslander potatoes are available in the early summer through fall.
Frieslander potatoes, botanically classified as Solanum tuberosum, are an early variety that belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. This Dutch potato is one of the first varieties to be harvested in the summer and is favored by farmers for its resistance to disease, uniform tubers, and high yields. Frieslander potatoes are named after the northern province of Friesland in the Netherlands and are a popular cultivar promoted in fresh markets for every day, culinary use. The tuber is also labeled by growers as a dual-purpose variety and is commonly used in the commercial processing of French fries.
Frieslander potatoes are a good source of vitamin C and potassium, which are essential vitamins and minerals that allow the body to regulate fluids, increase collagen production, and maintain organ functioning. The tubers also contain fiber, vitamin B6, manganese, folate, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Frieslander potatoes are best suited for cooked applications such as roasting, baking, deep-frying, and mashing. The tubers develop a fluffy consistency when cooked and are most popularly used to make French fries in the Netherlands, traditionally served with mussels or fish. They can also be wrapped in foil and cooked over barbeques, boiled and mashed, or roasted in the oven for a crisp exterior. Beyond French fries, Frieslander potatoes are used in the Netherlands in stamppot, which is a traditional dish made from leafy greens, mashed potatoes, and sausage, or they can be blended into hutspot, which is a mashed potato dish mixed with carrots and onions. The Dutch also use Frieslander potatoes in waffles, bread, and pastries. Frieslander potatoes pair well with roasted meats such as poultry, pork, and beef, sausage, bacon, fish, mussels, red cabbage, carrots, parsnips, leeks, onions, chives, apples, raisins, and cheddar. The tubers will keep 4-6 weeks when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place.
Friesland is a northern province in the Netherlands that is known for its seed potato production. The Netherlands globally exports over 700,000 tonnes of seed potatoes annually and produces many different early, mid-season, and late-maturing varieties for sustainable growth and cultivation. While the country has developed a reputation for high-quality potatoes, many Dutch breeding companies are looking to expand the potato’s humble reputation. Through partnerships between artists, farmers, and seed organizations, Bildtse Potato Week was created and was also named “Potatoes Go Wild” to inspire consumers to look at potatoes artistically. Many different gatherings are held in Friesland over the week-long event, and visitors can tour through painted potato sheds to learn about the process of farming potatoes while viewing the work of local artists, attend poetry readings, or even listen to guest speakers about the future of potato breeding and innovation.
Frieslander potatoes were developed in the Netherlands from a cross between gloria potatoes and a variety known as 74 A3. While the exact history and date of origin of the cultivar are unknown, Frieslander potatoes are a popular variety in the Netherlands and are sold to commercial processers and growers for sale in select local markets. The variety is also commonly distributed as seed potatoes into other countries throughout Europe.