Even a tasty potato selection’s taste is basically decided by giving the plant the correct amount of water and vitamins. Tapio Knuuttila, who co-owns Skabam in Finland, determined to see how potatoes would style in the event you returned their cultivation to its roots. He now sells Frex potatoes which a number of Michelin cooks use.
Tapio en Pia Knuuttila van Skabam and the FREX model
“The extra superior the chef, the extra they respect these potatoes’ taste, consistency, and flexibility,” he begins. “That is as a result of their distinctive style is unimaginable to repeat. Nowhere else on this planet has Finland’s distinctive mixture of soil, pure groundwater, high-light depth, and cultivation data. We have returned to those potatoes’ roots. We mix as we speak’s know-how of contemporary strategies with conventional, eco-friendly methods of farming.”
A lot analysis was achieved into eradicating all of the bitter substances from these potatoes, thus getting them to style like they used to. Proof that that is profitable got here from a 100-year-old German lady who tasted FREX potatoes. “She burst into tears; she acknowledged the flavour from her childhood,” Tapio says. “These potatoes look genuine and rustic too. They’re primarily characterised by a scrumptious, real taste that harks to a time earlier than large-scale agriculture, a time when folks nonetheless lived in concord with nature, and their meals was clear, tasty, and ecological.”
It took years for Frex potato cultivation to start. Grower Rami Lilja, a Frex workforce member, often known as the ‘potato professor’, is aware of all about potatoes. “Rotating the crops with primarily legumes fertilizes the soil, which will need to have simply the correct amount of water and air. FREX potato yields are, thus, fixed, whatever the summer time climate. Our growers now have a system with exactly detailed recommendation. We additionally what to patent this method,” he says. One other factor that has come out of the research is that Frex potatoes CO2-negative. That’s as a result of “fertilizer vegetation” take in a lot carbon dioxide. Most Frex fields are in Ostrobothnia, however there are additionally growers in different components of Finland.
Tapio bought the thought for these potatoes when he was dwelling in Belgium. “I have been selling Finnish meals for many years whereas dwelling overseas for greater than half my grownup life. This potato thought took place whereas I used to be presenting Finnish processed fish in Belgium. A well-respected chef commented on its wonderful high quality however mentioned the facet of potato was solely good. I started questioning why Finns do not make higher use of our clear nature, good groundwater, and clear summer time nights. That nation has the whole lot you have to produce premium merchandise.”
That was the beginning of a protracted journey. Tapio tasted numerous Finnish merchandise and had limitless discussions with retailer managers, customers, and cooks, incessantly asking for his or her opinions and trusting their tastes. “Lastly, we bundled all these solutions collectively to construct our Frex product household, which at present consists of potatoes, eggs, and purple beets. We’ve begun exporting our new 2022 crop to our European prospects too.”
Although you could find Frex potatoes in any Finnish grocery store, on the European continent, they’re solely accessible by way of wholesalers specializing in hospitality trade merchandise. There, these need to compete with French-grown potatoes, which have been thought-about top-of-the-line for years. By organizing occasions and tastings, Tapio has testimonials from a number of Michelin-starred cooks, together with these exterior Finland. One among them is Alain Bianchin of Belgium’s starred restaurant of the identical identify.
He created an appetizer dish that stars the Frex potato. Alain tops a softly boiled potato with caviar, avocado, crab, and two crispy deep-fried potato chips. This starter will set you again €62. Just one different dish on his menu, a essential course, reaches that value. Bianchin is aware of what he needs from a potato: “I count on it to look superb, with a skinny peel, strong, however easy maltiness, and a refined aroma.”
FREX Soraya is a common potato you need to use in purees and soups. They’re barely candy and never watery in any respect.
Waxy FREX potatoes (Jazzy) are agency but crumbly. These are good for broiling and can be utilized in salads, stews, and gratins. These potatoes retain their moisture nicely and are, thus, suited to savory pies and baked dishes.
Some 60% of a potato’s taste is genetically decided. Throughout cultivation, exterior components like soil sort, daylight, and the quantity of water and later storage components have an effect on the remaining 40%. Potatoes that develop too quick have little taste, whereas sluggish, balanced development makes them extra flavorful.
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