Colourful Perupas for the first time in Dutch restaurants

Gert Jan Zonneveld Piek (left) and Niels van den Berg (right).

Gert Jan Zonneveld Piek (left) and Niels van den Berg (right).

Abril 16, 2015

Forgotten vegetables are popular in the better restaurants. These gifts from Mother Nature offer chefs the opportunity to surprise their guests with original tastes.

In line with this trend, Dutch fresh fruit and vegetable supplier Rungis from Barendrecht and HZPC are bringing the ancient potato varieties from the Andes back on to the plate. Very healthy, surprisingly tasty and – because of their special colours – a feast for the eye too.

Chefs are always looking for ways to keep on surprising their customers. There's a strong drive to pick up new trends, says Niels van den Berg, who is responsible for Communication & Trends at Rungis and is also an SVH MasterChef (Dutch Guild of MasterChefs).

Gert Jan Zonneveld Piek, Managing Director and, together with his wife, owner of Rungis:
 

“Many chefs travel and communicate with colleagues at an international level.”

“We’re being asked, for example, to go and look for "that one blue potato with a so-and-so taste”. Requests like that are a joy for freaks like us. The hotel and restaurant industry needs to keep on moving forwards, always.”

“And we, as chefs, like to help and I believe that we are in the vanguard.”
(Click to enlarge) Fried Perupas

Fried Perupas

(Click to enlarge) Perupas diamond cut and steamed/boiled

Perupas diamond cut and steamed/boiled


Rungis

Rungis is a fresh-food specialist for the hotel and restaurant industry that supplies over 4000 kinds of potatoes, vegetables, fruits, mushrooms and herbs. But also fresh juices ready-to-cook cut vegetables, hand-peeled potatoes, fruit salads and raw food are in our product range. Rungis calls itself a greengrocer with a passion for the trade and a focus on taste.

Trends in potatoes

‘When we started working with Rungis, 125 seasons ago, we had 8 different potato varieties in our product range. Nowadays, that’s almost 80. We select the potatoes on taste accents and advise chefs about their various uses’, says Gert Jan Zonneveld Piek.

Niels van den Berg:

‘It’s just like wines: a sommelier chooses a wine that goes well with a dish. You can also do this now with potatoes: crumbly or floury, earthy, nutty, or fresh. But being able to make choices in this area, that’s what’s really new.’


Perupas

‘The Perupas variety which we market together with HZPC has become really popular with the chefs. It offers many possibilities through variation in taste, colour and use. The culinary applications are countless, for example, purple-white crisps, very creamy yellow-orange potato purée and magenta-coloured potato ‘poffertjes’ (tiny pancakes). We recommend cooking options for the Perupas: wedges, Julienne, sticks, slices, mixed. This makes them easy to use’, says Niels van den Berg.

(Click to enlarge) Perupas on a sandwich

Perupas on a sandwich

(Click to enlarge) Hearts formed from mashed Perupas in multiple colours

Hearts formed from mashed Perupas in multiple colours


He continues: ‘Our experience has shown that these types of trends usually start in the better restaurants. A new product, however, needs more than one season to take root. It must become part of the thinking and the buying patterns of the chefs.‘

A more extensive version of this article can be found at:
HZPC's INZPIRE Online Magazine, Issue 3

‘The ‘risk’ of success is that they want to win quickly and start introducing them into the supermarkets. What happens then is that the restaurants lose interest. That’s how it went with quinoa, for example. There’s no chef now who would dare put that on the menu’. 'If you act that way, you turn it into a hype and go for short-term profit’, is also Gert Jan Zonneveld Piek’s opinion. ‘The risk is then that customers lose interest after a while. We prefer to have more patience and go for the long term.’

Cooperation

‘We’re quite proud of the Perupas and what our cooperation with HZPC has brought us in a short period of time’, says Gert Jan Zonneveld Piek. ‘There really is a click and the good thing is that we both have faith in each other’s specialism. We are convinced that our cooperation will bring us even more benefit in the coming years.’

About 4 years ago, I went to Peru. If you see what they’re doing there with potatoes, that’s very promising for the restaurants.

HZPC's Colourful Perupas come in following types: Magenta Love, Double fun, Violet Queen, Blue Star, Violetta and Anya

HZPC's Colourful Perupas come in following types: Magenta Love, Double fun, Violet Queen, Blue Star, Violetta and Anya


The cooperation between Rungis and HZPC provides an innovative range of special ancient potato variety tastes and colours. For this, HZPC was able to use the genetic source material of the indigenous farmers from Lima. In collaboration with The International Potato Centre (CIP) in Lima, HZPC supports a group of farmers in Peru. These farmers work very hard to maintain the genetic variation of the potato varieties.

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