The Nordic Food Lab conducted a sensory analysis of underutilized varieties of Nordic potatoes to evaluate their respective gastronomic potential and desirability.
We initially received forty individual varieties grown from Nordgen seed stock in their test farm. We processed these in a manner most consistent with average consumer cooking methods,(boiled) and selected ten that most interesting. The Nordic Genetic Research Center cultivated approximately five kilos of each variety for further testing. The specimens evaluated were:
SWE 3007 Sparrispotatis
DNK 3054 Æggeblomme
SWE 3062 Rödbrokig Svensk
DNK 3198 Kiva
NOR 3212 Fjellfinn
FIN 3223 Tammiston Aikainen
SWE 3230 Blå Mandel
DNK 3259 Minea
FIN 3267 Lemin Punanen
ISL 3304 Blaar Islenskar
These varieties were subjugated to the following processes: baking, boiling, sous vide, French fries, crisps, pureed, confit.
The tastings were conducted with a minimum of three trained chefs, although typically six persons participated. The tastings were conducted using a seven-point category scale (seven highest) to measure the intensity of each sensory attribute. Each panelist was given an appropriate description of the lexicon for each sensory analysis.
All the sensory evaluations were conducted with King Edward potatoes as a control.
As expected, certain qualities of each potato were rather more suited for different cooking methods. What excelled as a baking potato would sometimes flounder in a boiling test. Several of the varieties were interesting prior to testing, merely on their aesthetic qualities. Some varieties had qualities that would be desired by a professional, but perhaps not the amateur or household cook. The sparrispotatis were an example of this; while initially they produced a rather odd potato pure, we were able to manipulate them into a unique and excellent product.
Overall, as evidenced by the sensory analysis, The Nordic Food Lab recommends the following potatoes further work, and suggests integration into production:
There will be further information on each variety and cooking method as we crunch and enter the data.