Purple fingerling potato comes to Klamath Basin

08/11/2009 03:06:06 PM
Andy Nelson

A new purple organic fingerling potato will be grown in Oregon’s Klamath Basin.

Klamath Basin Fresh Direct, an association of growers along the Oregon-California border, will grow and market the Purple Pelisse, a new spud created through a joint effort of Oregon State University, the University of Idaho, Washington State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to an Oregon State news release.

The Pelisse is the first new variety created by those three schools and the USDA working together. Klamath Basin Fresh Direct beat out four other companies for the rights to it.

The Pelisse features “intense” purple flesh, and joins a red-skinned and a white-skinned variety in the Klamath Basin Fresh Direct product lineup. The group will likely change the name from Pelisse, and market it to high-end supermarkets and restaurants, said Dan Chin, the group’s chairman.

“Right now there’s not a good purple fingerling on the market,” Chin said in the news release. “But this one has good flavor and looks good. It fits the bill for what we think a consumer might want.”

Chin plans to pitch the Pelisse in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and the Philippines in November, as part of an Oregon Department of Agriculture trade mission.

The Pelisse will be featured in dishes cooked at Timberline Lodge on Oregon’s Mount Hood Aug. 19-25. Each week this summer, the resort is featuring a different food produced in Oregon.

The variety will not, however, be on retail shelves until probably the fall of 2011, Chin said.



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