What has happened to British Potatoes and in particular what has happened to the British Maris Piper potato? They are so small nowadays that they are hardly worth peeling anymore. The Maris Piper potato is the quintessential chipping potato and has always been. But how can you make chips out of potatoes that when peeled are the size of peas? It may be only small potatoes but the demise of this once perfect chipping potato is a serious gripe for real chip affectionados who prefer to make their own chips rather than rely on a bag of frozen wannabes.
Nowadays I seem to spend so much time rooting through bags of this brand of potato on the supermarket shelves, looking for a bag with at least 2 reasonably sized potatoes so that I can make some chips. The rest of the bag is just either destined to be mash but the majority of this rubbish just ends up getting thrown away. So what has happened to the Maris Piper potato why is it being miniaturised?
There may be 2 reasons for this as far as I can see. Either it’s that the best of the crop is being sold to chip shops up and down the country or that the supermarkets are demanding that the Growers pick their crop much earlier in order to get it to the supermarket shelves quicker resulting in the under-sized rubbish of a poor excuse for a Maris Piper that we are seeing. The last possible explanation I can think of is that maybe it’s the Growers harvesting early and shipping them out early to avoid deteriorating weather conditions such as frost or flood. Whatever it is this is a sad demise for a Classic variety of potato.
Not Everyone wants Oven Chips
The dry fluffy taste of oven chips just will not do as a substitute for proper chips. However to some these are the most convenient version of the Classic. I can see the attraction : no peeling, no slicing, no frying involved. But the true chip has no comparison and the oven chip is a poor substitute. Perhaps then it is lack of demand for real potato chips that has resulted in the supermarkets believing that no-one wants a proper chip anymore. Well they are wrong! What do you want? Would you prefer a proper traditional chip or would you prefer the Oven Chips. Would you like to be able to make your own chips from a reasonably sized potato or do you think that the traditional potato chip can be replaced with a conveniently frozen supermarket alternative. I would like to hear from you. Have Your Say on this matter!