If only you know how much I have looked for these potatoes for such a long time. I was even ready to pay €30 for a couple of kilos coming from London. Yes, I was that desperate. Just before I clicked on that beckoning PAY button, I re-thought about it and my husband jumped in to the rescue. He worked his wonders in looking for a vendor in Italy. I resignedly informed him that I had been trying for months but there is no seller in this country that is mentioned on-line. Tick-tock-tick-tock. The PAY button is getting nervously lonely. "Got it!" Did I hear right? I obnoxiously told him that he must have found the potatoes that are grown in the north of the country that are always mistaken as the vitelotte. While saying that, I curiously peeled my eyes away from the PAY button in my computer, scared that it might hide from me. "It is vitelotte!" And the vendor is even a couple of hours drive away from Rome. Then he found another one. How can that be? He put my months-long search to a shame. 5 minutes was all it took him! Armed with the phone number, he was able to order 5 kilos for me for €20 and they can even deliver them to us to a vegetable shop nearby without paying for any shipping. Still expensive for potatoes but much more acceptable than the English ones. I immediately emptied my online shopping cart and sighed with relief.
The producer was informative and helpful. They had big hopes of producing the Peruvian violet potatoes locally but the soil and climate did not go well with the production of the vitelotte. Theirs didn't come out with the same color intensity that it should have had. They are a big potato producer of the popular Italian ones from Viterbo and they just abandoned the vitelotte project. At present, they just produce about 20 kilos at a time, just for fun. Well, count me in to their fun. I am taking away a quarter of what they have. They do sell the French vitelotte that they import every winter so I can also wait for that. WHAT? No, I will get the Italian ones now then order again the French in winter. After all these months of waiting? Tsk! Tsk! I waited for the producer's call to say when they will harvest and when they will put them in the truck. Tick-tock-tick-tock. I wanted to volunteer myself to dig them myself but.... The call arrived one late afternoon advising us that they will be harvesting after we speak and they will be delivered the following morning. I was impressed with their personal service and the freshness of their produce.
I was late in cooking dinner so I just cooked the potatoes the fastest way I can think of with my usual cold potato salad. I was baking some salmon so it should go well as usual albeit the strange color. I was expecting the potatoes to come out with a milder tone of lilac like what the producer explained. Instead, the potatoes were intensely violet. Wow, they're beautiful! And they taste like potatoes! My son avoided them like plague over dinner. I forgot that he doesn't like strangely colored food. I assured him that they are naturally violet. He ate a forkful just to make me happy but I didn't miss the scolding look he was giving me. Ahem! Who is the kid and who is the adult here?
Now, I still have 4 kilos at my disposal and wondering what recipe to do next.
Summer Vitelotte Potato Salad
- 1 kilo vitelotte potatoes (or any type of potato), boiled, diced & left to cool
- 2 -3 tbsp. capers, preserved in vinegar (If you are using the ones preserved in salt, rinse under the tap, give them a light squeeze and soak in white wine vinegar for about 15 minutes.)
- a bunch of parsley, chopped finely
- 1/4 red onion, chopped finely (optional)
- 1 lemon, juice
- 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- extra virgin olive oil
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
- Pour as much olive oil as you can so that the potatoes don't dry up.
- Mash a bit the potatoes with the back of a fork.
- Modify the amount of lemon & salt to your liking. Serve at room temperature.