These potatoes are grown in Jersey, UK and hold the Protected Designation of Origin.
This means, that true Jersey Royals, can only be grown in Jersey. They are of the International Kidney potato variety and are grown as new (young, spring) potatoes.
These were first grown by a chap called Hugh de la Haye around 1880. He called them Jersey Royal Fluke, which was later shortened to Jersey Royal. They are now grown by around 20 island farmers, almost exclusively, and account for almost 70% of the agricultural output.
Their uniqueness is attributed to their growing conditions. The island slopes from north to south, exposing the crops to lots of sun during the growing period. The soil is well drained, light and full of nutrients. Many of the farmers also still use seaweed from the local beaches as a natural fertiliser. The growing process starts in November with the potatoes being planted outside from January to April, with the harvesting season from March to July, but right now is the hight of the season with an abundance of produce.
Try to use them within a couple of days of purchasing. If you are storing them for longer, keep in a dry, cool and dark place. When cooking them, definitely leave the skins on. They are paper thin and lots of tasty goodness hides right underneath. Steaming, boiling or roasting are all delicious ways of preparing them. Serving them simply is best, as you can really enjoy their delicate flavour. They are great just on their own, but why not try them as a warm side dish with butter, salt, herbs and a squeeze of lemon. One of our favourite ways of preparing these is to steam or boil them for 15-20 minutes until tender. Then place them on a baking tray, crush with a spoon and roast, drizzled with oil, in a hot oven for another 20-30 minutes until golden and crispy. This results in super crunchy outer layer with pillowy soft centre. Then simply drizzle with pesto or perhaps salsa verde for a decadent dish. They work well with anything green that is in season right now – asparagus, peas, rocket, watercress…… as the main event or a delicious accompaniment. They work well with eggs for breakfast as a healthier potato element or in a frittata with ricotta, vegetables or bacon and chorizo. These potatoes also make a great side to go with fish and meat (think lamb!). They are incredibly versatile, so get cooking!