|21 May 2012 Historic Irish potato revived by leading processor|
A potato variety associated with the Irish famine in the 1840s has been revived by Northern Irish processor Glens of Antrim Potatoes as part of a new heritage range.
The company, based at Cushendall in County Antrim, has launched the Irish Lumper, a potato that has not been grown in Ireland since the devastating potato famine.
The Irish Lumper, a distinctive ‘knobbly’ shaped potato, has been cultivated and propagated from a handful of rare seedlings, and a specialist grower in Northern Ireland was used to achieve a yield which retained the distinctive shape and heritage of the Lumper but also excelled in taste and nutrition value.
Michael McKilliop, Glens of Antrim managing director, says the company has been impressed by feedback from consumers to the variety, launched during the recent Delicious Ireland event at Selfridges in London that was organised by Bord Bia and Invest Northern Ireland.
“We’ve been working for five years to produce a crop of Irish Lumpers which told the story of the potato’s heritage whilst meeting our high standards, and we were delighted with this first commercial crop.
“The feedback from customers has been amazing so far and we will definitely be introducing the Irish Lumper into our product range later in the year.
“We’re committed to helping consumers appreciate that there is so much more to the potato than its ‘humble spud’ image. The rebirth of the Irish Lumper is a perfect example and we hope customers near and far will enjoy the history, heritage and flavour of this great potato variety,” he adds.
Irish Lumpers will form part of the Glens of Antrim Potatoes ‘Heritage’ range introducing modern shoppers to a wider variety of potato.
Glens of Antrim Potatoes, which currently employs over 50 people, has invested heavily in its growing and processing operation to ensure high quality products and complete traceability throughout the supply chain.
The company sources potatoes from around 30 growers and supplies products to many of the leading retail chains including Marks and Spencer, Asda and Tesco.
The Lumper potato was widely cultivated in western and southern Ireland before and during the Great Famine (1845-49), which led to a million deaths and fuelled emigration to the US and Australia.