Rather floury in texture; have to be cooked
very carefully or they disintegrate. Skin colour fades on cooking;
Flowers usually drop at bud stage. When seen they are pale
purple with very small greenish yellow centres. large strong haulms; yield about
2-3 lb per pot; some tubers very striking in appearance, with red,
white and purple patches, but the majority resemble Shetland Black.
Yetholm Gypsy had not been placed in the National Collection prior to
its discovery in 1998, when one cut tuber was passed to Alan
Romans by a retired gentleman, Mr Little of Kelso. Mr Little had
known of it all his life. The first disease-free plants were grown
in 1999 producing fairly numerous oval blue/purple tubers. The
blue/purple layer of pigment overlays a red layer, which in turn
gives way to non-pigmented skin. Some of the tubers show random
flashes of all three colours.
They were originally available as microplants only, but seed tubers can now be obtained (from Alan Romans and from T & M)
Alan Fairweather tells me that the DNA of Yetholm Gypsy
tested by S.A.S.A. (Scottish Agricultural Science Agency)
where it is
held in their collection. It is a variant of the variety King Edward. The taste and texture are certainly very similar, and late in the season, steaming is better than boiling.
S.A.S.A has the
major European collection of potato types.
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