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Genuine Jersey Serves up Royals to Shoppers

Date: 06/05/2004 | Posted by John Garton
Shoppers in Checkers this Saturday (May 8th) will be able to experience the flavour of freshly dug Jersey Royals served with local butter and home-grown herbs by members of the Genuine Jersey Products Association. The Association will be holding an in-store tasting demonstration, with one of the major retail supporters of local produce, to give Islanders the chance to enjoy the taste of Jersey Royals at the start of the season.

Marketing co-ordinator of the GJPA Catherine Vint, who will be cooking the Jersey Royals, says: “This is a great opportunity for Islanders to try the distinctive taste of this extremely popular potato at the start of the season. I will be cooking the potatoes with mint grown by Fauvic Nurseries in Grouville and served with butter produced by Jersey Dairy to give people the chance to experience Jersey Royals at their best.”

As well as expecting to cook and serve up more than 1,000 potatoes, Catherine will also be giving away copies of a free leaflet produced by Jersey Tourism called ‘Prepare Yourself Four Royal Experiences’ which includes advice on how to cook the potatoes and use Royals in recipes.

Producing an annual income of more than £20 million and exporting 30,000 tonnes to the UK a year, the Jersey Royal is vitally important to the Island’s farming industry. Although the large majority of potatoes are exported a substantial amount is sold locally through distributors like Amal-Grow, which is a member of the GJPA.

Despite not growing Jersey Royals, Amal-Grow of St John produces a wide variety of  vegetables all year round and estimates it delivers more than four tonnes of Jersey Royals a week to major local retailers between April and June. The company is supplied daily with freshly lifted potatoes by Jersey Royal (potato marketing) Ltd.

Managing director Tony Le Brun says: “During the Royal season we make two deliveries to supermarkets a day. If the stocks are replenished in the shops regularly, potatoes which are dug in the morning could feasibly be sold in the afternoon and be on someone’s plate for dinner that evening. That’s why to enjoy Jersey Royals at their best shoppers need to buy little and often to ensure they retain their superior quality and taste.”

Checkers sold 30 tonnes of Jersey Royals during the season last year making it the top-selling potato.

Produce controller for Checkers Steve Martel says: “People actively seek out Jersey Royals in our supermarkets because of their distinctive taste and limited supply. This is the first time we have organised an in-store tasting demonstration for the Royals and it will be interesting to hear what locals think about the flavour of the crop this year.