Italia: Sardinian mountain potatoes now available as pralines
"We focused on a project that aimed at creating a chain in an unusual place, detaching ourselves from the concept that a crop can only thrive in ideal production areas," explains Gianfranco Psichedda, owner of Mp Sardinia with brothers Antonio.
Mp Sardinia produces potatoes in a territory that is not exactly ideal, as there are great temperature changes between night and day (15-40°C) and an unusual height for the cultivation of this tuber.
"We are located in the Sassari province, 750 meters above sea level on a plain where water comes from the local granite springs."
"As this is a mountain area, we cannot be extremely competitive when it comes to volumes, so we focus on quality. We own six hectares where we grow various varieties: three yellow, pink and purple cultivars that yield 30 tons/hectare classified as Fumuderra (which means potato in the local dialect)."
Sowing starts in mid-April and lasts until June to avoid frost and harvesting operations are carried out after 90 days. Tubers are grown naturally, keeping the use of phytosanitary products to a minimum.
Prices are on the up due to the slight drop in yields following the abundant rain in 2018. In addition, the prices of seed potatoes from the Netherlands and Italy increased by 50% compared to the previous year.
"Our flagship product is purple potatoes, which have a unique walnut and chestnut aftertaste and are commercialized under the Archemissa brand (in Sardinian, the name means lavender as the color of the flesh is similar to that of lavender flowers)."
The company is also working in partnership with Peano, which launched a confectionery brand called Cioccoderra.
"They are pralines with chocolate and potatoes and we are testing new pairings. Pralines are available with both classic and purple potatoes."
The brand is available in northern Sardinia between Olbia and Sassari where Fumuderra potatoes can be purchased in specialized and Crai stores.
"We are working on a new website, so our products will be available online soon. We believe e-shops have led to a new era that could significantly change the commercialization of fresh produce in the future."
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