Tony Reynolds recently helped to dig the first crop of this year’s Sofia potatoes from Reynolds’ grower, John Rix at his farm in Great Horkesley, Colchester.
Available to the UK foodservice industry exclusively from Reynolds, Sofia potatoes are a relatively new variety of salad potato specially developed for their taste and texture.
Sofia potatoes combine a waxy texture – a popular feature of salad potatoes – with a unique softness not traditionally found in this type of potato. Their texture, coupled with a hint of sweetness, gives Sofia potatoes their delicious flavour and makes them ideal for salad and fish dishes.
"It was a privilege to unearth this season’s first batch of Sofia potatoes,’ commented Tony Reynolds, managing director of Reynolds. "Not only did we see the potatoes being harvested in the field, we were also able to taste the new crop. Simply boiled, drizzled with butter and served with fresh salmon and asparagus, I can personally lay testament to the fact that they tasted delicious."
A member of the Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) scheme and of LEAF since 2007, John Rix is one of Reynolds’ new growers. His farm lies in an area of natural beauty and John strictly adheres to integrated crop management practices in order to protect and enhance the local wildlife and environment.
Since the start of this year, John has planted 3,000 metres of hedgerows and ten per cent of the arable area is now in farmland bird options; in addition, there are thirty-three bat and bird boxes throughout the farm. The farm’s reservoirs also provide a habitat for over ninety species of birds including rare species such as the Red-crested Pochard, Green Sandpiper, Fieldfare and the Nightingale.
Accompanying Tony on the visit to John farm was Reynolds’ chef director, Ian Nottage, who will be working with his food development team to bring the potatoes to life and create menu solutions which encourage customers to feature the potatoes on their menus and promote the fantastic provenance.