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Early potatoes

Early potatoes

April 26, 2011
It probably says a fair bit about Finnish culture that a national newspaper devotes an article to the prospects for the early potato crop, but then again the Finnish love-affair with new potatoes, often accompanied by fish, seems to know no bounds.

Even though imported new potatoes can be had - for a price - with much the same ease as fresh strawberries, almost throughout the year, there is something nearly magical about the first domestically-grown ones, and they are an absolutely essential part of the Finnish summer.

”Year after year, Finns have an unquenchable appetite for early potatoes", confirms potato farmer Jaakko Lehmuskoski.

"They are regarded as an exquisite delicacy, no matter how high the general standard of living may be. Moreover, they do not need many side dishes: dill and a few pats of butter and a little fish, either herring, salmon, or salted Baltic herring”, says Lehmuskoski, smacking his lips as an indicator that he is no exception to the rule.

”Last year, the sales of Finnish-grown early potatoes were disturbed by the simultaneous imports of cheap new potatoes from the Skåne region in the southern tip of Sweden”, Lehmuskoski recalls.

In the current spring it seems likely that the crops of the Finnish early potatoes will be delayed.

Lehmuskoski hopes that Swedish potatoes from Skåne will this year come to Finnish supermarkets a little earlier than the Finnish ones.

Last year the Swedish rivals were late out of the blocks, arriving in the market place at the same time as the Finnish-grown early potatoes.