Assortment of Organic Fingerling, Russian Banana, & Aztec Potatoes, Scottsdale Old Town Farmers' Market
Some of the fabulous produce at Scottsdale Old Town Farmers' Market, located in the City parking lot at Brown Road and 1st Street in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona -- I love these colorful varieties of fingerling and baby potatoes.
My favorite way to prepare them is to coat these little dudes with olive oil and herbs, a bit of salt and pepper, and then roast them either by themselves or with carrots and onions. No peeling necessary, just a quick scrub and a few fork-pricks in the skin to prevent the potatoes from exploding in the oven.
McClendon's Farm is the main supplier of produce at this farmers' market -- from the McClendon's Farm website:
McClendon's Select is a family-run, certified organic farm located on 25 acres in Peoria, Arizona. Three generations of the McClendon family grow over 100 varieties of organic fruits and vegetables, along with dates, honey, and bee pollen. Our produce is sold at twice-weekly farmers' markets in the Phoenix area and to top award-winning restaurants throughout Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and Sedona. For the past decade, we have created this farm to providing the highest quality organic produce, always harvested and delivered at its peak of freshness in the season.
And now, with our partnership with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, McClendon's Select is developing the first ever organic farm in conjunction with a hospital. We have cultivated the land and this season started planting on 68 acres of the hospital campus, to provide produce for the hospital and our customers. The land is certified organic and is being tended to just as our farm in Peoria. We are excited for this new relationship and to continue to provide the best organic produce for both home cooks and restaurant chefs alike. We invite you to learn more about our farm, our farmers' markets, and the restaurants we work with at our blog, mcclendonsselectblog.com.
About the many varieties of potatoes, via Wikipedia:
There are about 5,000 potato varieties worldwide. Three thousand of them are found in the Andes alone, mainly in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Colombia. They belong to eight or nine species, depending on the taxonomic school. Apart from the 5,000 cultivated varieties, there are about 200 wild species and subspecies, many of which can be cross-bred with cultivated varieties. Cross-breeding has been done repeatedly to transfer resistances to certain pests and diseases from the gene pool of wild species to the gene pool of cultivated potato species.
[The potato] has been bred into many standard or well-known varieties, each of which has particular agricultural or culinary attributes. In general, varieties are categorized into a few main groups, such as russets, reds, whites, yellows (also called Yukons) and purples—based on common characteristics. Around 80 varieties are commercially available in the UK. For culinary purposes, varieties are often differentiated by their waxiness. Floury, or mealy (baking) potatoes have more starch (20–22%) than waxy (boiling) potatoes (16–18%). The distinction may also arise from variation in the comparative ratio of two potato starch compounds: amylose and amylopectin. Amylose, a long-chain molecule, diffuses from the starch granule when cooked in water, and lends itself to dishes where the potato is mashed. Varieties that contain a slightly higher amylopectin content, a highly branched molecule, help the potato retain its shape when boiled.