Potatoes make a valuable contribution to our diet in Ireland. They are an excellent source of starch and contain no fat if eaten boiled or baked. They are also an important source of vitamin C providing more than one third of our daily requirement.
Rooster and Kerr's Pink are the two most important varieties grown, with 38% of total area planted with Rooster and 21% planted with Kerr's Pink. the following are other popular varieties grown in Ireland.
- Kerr's Pink
- British Queen
- Maris Piper
- Golden Wonder
- Home Guard
The Potato production area in Ireland is currently a bout 12,000ha with 600 growers involved in commercial potato production.
Over half of the production area is based in North Leinster with the counties of Meath, Dublin and Louth being the key production areas.
In terms of varieties grown main crop potatoes account for over 70% of total production with the balance being made up of early variety production processing variety production.
Types, Varieties and Availability of Irish Produce
There are three crop seasons for potatoes in Ireland
|1st Earlies||Homeguard, Premiere||May – July|
|2nd Earlies||British Queen||July – September|
|Maincrop||Rooster, Kerrs Pink, Golden Wonder, Record, Cultura, Cabaret, Charlotte||All year round|
Always buy young beans as the pods of larger beans are likely to be tough. The pods should feel firm and fresh; if you can see the outline of the bean inside the pod it is likely to be fibrous.Use as soon as possible after purchase.
Runner beans need to be topped and tailed and may also need stringing before use. They should be sliced lengthways before cooking and plunged into boiling salted water and cooked until al dente.
Runner beans are used in salads as well as being served as a vegetable. They are added to stews, cassoulets, soups and broths. They are also served as a vegetable side dish, mixed with other beans such as flageolet beans or mixed with lardons of bacon. Flavours and ingredients that go well with runner beans include tomatoes, garlic, cream, lemon juice,bacon and white wine.