The red potato, thanks to its recent spread in the mountainous area of the Apennines between Umbria and Marche, has become one of the symbolic products of the city of Colfiorito, located within the Umbrian regional borders. Obtaining the European IGP (PGI – Protected Geographical Indication) label, the red potato has become, in a short time, the core product of the local economy.
From the Netherlands to Umbria
The variety of red potato is originally from the Netherlands, probably imported in the XVIII century by the troops of the Imperial army during travels to the Papal State. In fact, soldiers made extensive use of potatoes for culinary purposes. It is only since the mid-1900s that the red potato has been cultivated on a large scale in Umbria, particularly in the upland of Colfiorito and Casenove. Besides these two cities, other arear where the red potato is cultivated are: Foligno, Nocera Umbra, Valtopina and Sellano in Umbria; Serravalle di Chienti, Muccia, Pieve Torina, Sefro, Visso and Montecavallo in Marche.
The ideal soil for potato growing must be exposed to the winter cold. The tuber is planted between March and June; it can be planted whole or cut in pieces of a minimum size of 28 millimetres. The harvesting is mechanical or manual and takes place from August until November. The final product has an oval, lengthened and irregular shape; the external skin has no strains because of the exposure to the cold winter and is characterised by a red colour, while the pulp has a light-yellow colour.
In Umbrian cuisine, the potato is used in the preparation of many recipes, both sweet and savoury: bread, focaccia, omelette, or sweet doughnuts. It is excellent cooked with papillote method (wrapped in aluminium foil and cooked on embers); or roasted, or fried. Instead, for first courses, this product is excellent for preparing gnocchi, dressed with a traditional goose sauce or with a fish stew, typical of the Lake Trasimeno area.
Vivi l’Umbria insieme ai suoi protagonisti
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