From field to fork
The small, kidney-shaped Jersey Royal, with its deliciously sweet nutty flavour, is possibly the world’s most pampered potato. ‘The work that goes into producing these potatoes is astonishing!’ says producer Stephen Labey.
The seed potatoes are hand-planted on the island’s south-facing fields in early January. They’re covered with polythene, and often a fleece layer as well, to protect them from harsh frosts. In February the covering is taken off and harvesting by hand starts at the beginning of April.
‘Royals really signify the start of spring as they’re the first new potato to be ready each year,’ says Stephen. ‘We get them on to Morrisons shelves as quickly as possible so they’re as fresh as can be. They’re lifted out of the ground in the morning, packed up and graded by the afternoon, shipped out on the evening ferry and delivered to Morrisons the very next day.’
Stephen and his family eat Royals every day when they’re in season from April to early July. ‘We simply boil them and add butter to enhance their flavour. I know I’m biased but they really are the best potatoes in the world!’