The noun vegetable suggest an edible plant or part of a plant, but frequently rules out seeds and generally sweet fruit. This in general suggests the leaf, stem, or else the root of a plant.
In a non-biological meaning, the significance of this word is in the main founded on culinary and cultural belief for that reason; the use of the word is to some extent random and biased. For example, some people believe mushrooms to be vegetables even though they are not biologically plants; they are fungi while others consider them a separate food category.
Some vegetables we can consume raw, some eaten cooked, and some have got to be cooked to be suitable for eating, vegetables are most frequently cooked in savoury or salty dishes. Alternatively, a few vegetables are regularly used in desserts and other sweet dishes, for example rhubarb pie and carrot cake.
Some processed food items to be had on the market contain vegetable ingredients and can be referred to as “vegetable derived” products, these products may well or may not preserve the nutritional veracity of the vegetable used to produce them, instances of vegetable-derived products are ketchup, tomato sauce, and vegetable oils.
Anyway enough of all that lets get to the vegetable of the week!
There’s no mistaking the flavour of Jersey Royal Potatoes their inimitable taste comes from Jersey’s plentiful fertile soil, mild weather and the way the farmers grow them which they’ve been doing for generations, and every time you taste a Jersey Royal you can tell you are eating something special.
The magnificent flavour of Jersey Royal new potatoes develops from the distinctive growing conditions on the island and they are a genuine seasonal crop, at no other time can you buy these superb potatoes.
About 90% of the annual crop is exported to the UK, the rest are enjoyed by the people of Jersey. How lucky are we?
Remember the season is short-lived so stuff yourself on them while you can.
In around 1880 a, Hugh de la Haye a Jersey farmer, discovered and harvested a potato that was originally called the Jersey Royal Fluke. Over the years this has developed into today’s Jersey Royal new potato which is now grown by something like 90 island farmers and accounts for two-thirds on the island’s agricultural yield.
It is the growing conditions, rather than any major genetic variation, that makes the Jersey Royal a special kind of new potato, the island slopes from north to south and so benefits from a large level of sunlight during the growing season, the soil is well drained and very rich in nutrients, thanks to the vraic (locally collected seaweed) that is used as a fertiliser.
Why so expensive? Well much of the crop of Jersey Royals is grown in fields too steep to be harvested mechanically.
The early season potatoes are smaller and tenderer, the later season ones are larger and more flavourful, but both are wonderful.
Look for potatoes that still have the sandy soil still clinging to them (we hate the over washed potatoes from the supermarkets) they travel better still wearing their dirty coats.
To enjoy these potatoes and get the best from that exquisite texture and flavour just buy what you plan to use in the next couple or three days and you must keep them in a cool, dark place.
Preparing and Cooking
Leave the skins on, although we prefer to scrub/scrape the skins, most of the flavour and goodness lies just beneath the surface.
Steam or boil until tender (15 to 20 minutes, cut larger potatoes in half if necessary) and add butter and other fresh herbs such as mint, chives or parsley as desired, remember though a good tasty butter is what these spuds call out for.