Potatoes today do not know how the old. It is a reflection that come many consumers when they cook this tuber in the Mediterranean diet. But this responds to a “fraud” that is taking place in the last decade, According to warn producers.
“The reason that the expectations of the user are not satisfied is that supermarkets and shops selling as New potato, i.e., fresh and newly collected, the potato into a washed French conservation, that takes more than six months in containers at temperatures between 3 and 4 degrees and with chemical agents to prevent it to germinate”, explains Marcos Román, President of Asociafruit, Association that agglutinates to the 80% producers, marketers and handlers of potato in Andalusia.
Large areas “they placed posters that advertise the product as a new potato, and even the labelling notes that it is Spanish, but reading the fine print can be seen is that French”.
This potato of conservation is subjected to a washing process, making it difficult to identify it as such at a glance when the consumer goes to the supermarket. However, When it comes to cooking it the thing changes. “To be at low temperature for a long time, the potato lose water, What causes a high concentration of starch, It turns into sugar, resulting in a product which, in principle, was healthy and little calorie, no longer is it”, continued Roman.
The chef Enrique Sánchez put an example. “When FRY potatoes, We hope that they are White and crunchy, as always happened with the new potato. However, When we use old potato, stays dark and soft, so it does not comply with what we expect of them”, says.
And is that “the potato has earned the nickname of tough but it is a tuber and as with vegetables and fruit, as soon as it comes out of the Earth begins to lose properties”, Sanchez continues the chef.
It descends the consumption of potato
This loss of values, both nutritional and gastronomic, It has led consumers to go replacing potato with other carbohydrates. “The 80% the potato that we eat is fried and, If does not meet our expectations, We change it for other food. In fact, in the last ten years we have gone from consuming 40 kilos per year per capita to just 25”, insists Marcos Román, Manager Contagris S. L., in Aznalcázar, the municipality, along with La Rinconada, It concentrates a higher production of potatoes of Andalusia.
But the deception goes beyond. And that is increasingly more common found on the shelves of supermarkets containers that distinguish between potatoes for frying or baking. “It is true that there are different varieties being grown in the field and going better for a way of cooking or for another. The problem is that, many times, This distinction is not actually in the shops and, Although they label them differently, is the same type of potato“, Román regrets.
How to distinguish a good potato?
But how can we distinguish a good fresh potato that has been on conservation for months. “The first thing is that consumers have to make an effort to read the small print. Let's how comfortable and we look only in bids or an attractive label, but should be interested by the origin of what we eat, as we do with other products”, insists the chef Enrique Sánchez.
Marcos Román points a trick. “New potato skin is very thin and if we rub it a little undone. There is the key”, designates.
Fair of potato in La Rinconada
This problem affects all consumers, but especially producers of potatoes, they have seen how the number of hectares devoted to this crop has fallen a 20% This year, as well as the number of jobs, that have been reduced in 3.700 This campaign.
Coinciding with the start of season, in order to draw attention to the situation of the sector, This Saturday 9 may, in collaboration with the City Council of La Rinconada, will be held in the Seville municipality the Second party of the new potato, a playful and social event which will bring together citizens, producers and traders of this crucial product for the regional agriculture.
“We want people to know what is happening and know well what consumes. We don't say that the French potato does not come, But if we claim that it differ from ours and have another price”, abundant Marcos Román.
And it is that the excess production in the Gallic country has attracted the distributors, that you are a much cheaper product and that much larger leaves a profit margin.
Only 80 calories
“We do not sell in Spain. All our production goes to Europe. Belgium, Holland, United Kingdom, Poland… In these countries, It is much more appreciated and sold at reasonable prices for the producer and consumer”, concludes Roman.
In addition, During this fun event will be offered other types of information to citizens and misconceptions will break. “Despite joining the overweight, its carbohydrate content, is a product that, front of others like pasta or bread, They provide quite a few less calories. Like this, If 100 troop-grams of pasta 350 calories or 100 troop g of bread 250 calories, While 100 grams of boiled potatoes bring to the body only 80 calories“, He says Sanchez.