It feels like summer has finally arrived when patate novelle, or new potatoes, land on our eager plates. Of course, we can now access them all year round, but have you ever thought about where they come from?
Potatoes have been with us in Europe since the 16th century, when the Spanish introduced them from the Americas. With over five thousand types of potato, we are spoiled for choice; yet none pack a tasty punch like the new potato. They are simply a young potato, but it is this time of year that lends that uniquely vibrant taste, the spring and early summer rays having added their magic.
In the UK, as May meets June, we begin to see the delightful little orbs appear. In Italian cooking, we cherish the new potato. Whether paired with meats or seafood, hot or cold, they are a welcome addition to any menu. Diverse and plentiful, forgiving and giving, they are an easy way to impress your guests when they arrive to feast in the lazy languid summer days. Add them cold and seasoned to your salads, serve them buttered and herby with fabulously fresh fish. Boiled, crushed, fried or roasted, new potatoes are very much a chef’s amico.
In our seasonal menu, they are paired perfectly with the rib of veal and Jerusalem artichoke. What better way to embrace summer?