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Island Sunshine Potatoes
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Island Sunshine potatoes are round and have rough, yellow skin with shallow to intermediate eyes. Its flesh is creamy, moist, and dark yellow. When cooked, Island Sunshine potatoes have a sweet flavor and flaky texture.
Island Sunshine potatoes are available late summer through the winter months.
Island Sunshine potatoes, botanically classified as Solanum tuberosum ‘Island Sunshine’, are a member of the Solanaceous, or nightshade family, along with other popular foods such as eggplants, tomatoes, and peppers. This late season potato is popular with organic producers in the Eastern United States and Canada and is known for its high yields, blight resistance, and excellent storage qualities.
Island Sunshine potatoes are high in potassium, vitamins B6 and C, iron, and fiber.
Island Sunshine potatoes are best suited for cooked applications such as mashing, baking, boiling, or frying. Boiling is the most popular method because it keeps its shape beautifully after cooking. Island Sunshine potatoes are a superb choice for stews, chowders, and potato salads. Island Sunshine potatoes pair well with meats, eggs, cheeses, chives, herbs such as thyme or parsley, and other root vegetables. Store Island Sunshine potatoes in a cool, dry, and dark place.
Prince Edward Island has a long and rich history of potato farming. The tubers first came to the Canadian island by way of the British in the mid-18th century. It didn’t take long for potatoes to become one of the major crops on the island, with some residents subsisting on little more than potatoes and cod for over a year. The potato industry grew to produce more than 100,000 bushels, some of which were shipped as far as the West Indies until late blight ravaged the island’s crop in 1848. Eventually, the industry recovered, and Prince Edward Island is now the number one potato producer in Canada, as well as one of the essential growers of seed potatoes internationally.
The Island Sunshine potato was discovered on Prince Edward Island by the Loo brothers, a pair of organic potato farmers. A result of an open-pollinated cross between the cultivar “Irene” and a mystery male parent, the Loo brothers found this potato in their fields in 1984 and began producing it. Island Sunshine potatoes are difficult to find today and are available primarily in farmers markets in Canada and the Eastern United States.