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Shetland Black potato facts for kids

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Potato 'Shetland Black'
Shetland Black potatoes.jpg
Seven uncooked unpeeled 'Shetland Black' potatoes on a checked cloth background
Genus Solanum
Species Solanum tuberosum
Cultivar 'Shetland Black'
Origin Shetland Islands

Shetland Black is a dark purple heritage variety of potato. It comes from the Shetland Islands, and was developed in the Victorian era. It is part of the United Kingdom Ark of Taste. The plant grows to a height of about 2.5 feet (0.76 m), and is shallow-rooted and thus suitable for container growing. The potato is suitable for roasting, baking or steaming, and is commonly fried into chips or crisps. The potato is fairly small compared with modern cultivars, and when sliced has a purple ring near the edge. Once cooked it has a fluffy floury texture.

The skin is uneven and thick, and dark in color. Its colour derives from the presence of two pigments, peonidin and petunidin, which make up 52% and 38% of the total pigments, respectively.

Popular lore has it that the 'Shetland Black' came to the British Isles by way of a stranded Spanish Armada ship, but because it matures early in the season that provenance is disproven.

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