UMaine Releases Gourmet Potato Variety

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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - The University of Maine, in partnership with the Maine Potato Board, has released a new gourmet potato variety -- the Pinto Gold.

Sporting a unique skin pattern, the Pinto Gold has been in development for twelve years, starting in 2006 at a development program in Idaho before making its way to UMaine.

Out of 50,000 individual varieties tested at UMaine's Aroostook Research Farm, the Pinto Gold was selected as the most promising.

The potato isn't destined for large scale chip or french fry manufacturing, but for local gardeners, restaurants, and home cooking.

Gregory Porter, Professor of Agronomy at the University of Maine, says "This is unusual material that the crosses were really done for that specialty market, and that's why it has the striking skin patterns. It has very small tubers and wouldn't be the type of variety that would be used by everybody in the potato industry. But it works really well for that specialty market, and because of the small tubers, it's very easy to put into a roasted product to get a lot of that nice skin. You just quarter the little potatoes and get a nice size potato for roasting."

The Pinto Gold is described as having a smooth, creamy texture when cooked and is available at local farmers' markets and roadside stands across Maine.

*Thumbnail picture courtesy of the University of Maine