Jersey Royals

There are some foods that I just longed for when I lived in America. Proper butter. A loaf of soft white sliced – Mother’s Pride, in a perfect world. Toast. Heinz Baked Beans that weren’t rammed full of molasses. Chip shop chips. Ice cold Ribena. Hot Cross Buns. Creme Eggs.

A few of these I could buy in New York or any big US city, but there are some things that you just can’t buy in America full stop. And British potato varieties are one of them. I used to long for a perfect floury potato*. And, every spring, without fail, I’d drool thinking of the glory of Jersey Royals.

They are a particularly delicious, fine-fleshed new potato, grown only on the island of Jersey which, whilst closer to France than England, is one of the Channel Islands and therefore part of the United Kingdom. Characterised by paper thin skins, which can’t be peeled, you just rub off the dirt, and some of the peel comes away, but not all of it.

Because I love a good fact, Wiki tells us that “Annually the Jersey Royal market has a value of £35m. It is Jersey’s biggest crop export, accounting for 70% of agricultural turnover (and) 99% of production is exported to the United Kingdom.”

I was sent a bag of Jersey Royals last week by a PR last week. (I like this world where people send me food; I never got sent potatoes when I worked on fashion magazines.) They had been sent straight over to the mainland, so they were bubbling away on my hob within 24hours of being picked. And oh they were good. They arrived with a serving suggestion involving cream cheese and herbs, but all I wanted to do was scrub off the dirt, cook them in boiling water, sprinkle over some Maldon, and then smother them in so much Kerrygold that my arteries furred just looking at the bowl.

So that is exactly what I did.

Jersey Royals new season

And that was lunch. Jersey Royals. Cold butter. Maldon Sea Salt.

*Like Nanny in Nancy Mitford’s The Blessing, who is distinctly upset at the lack of floury potatoes in the South of France

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Love Jersey Royals. I sometimes do them like this:- after cooking, add crushed garlic, lots of butter, grated Cheddar, and watercress. Makes a lovely warm salad.


@Catherine: mmm I do think watercress and new potatoes is a lovely combination: the mixture of earthiness and pepperiness…LLGxx


I love that you got sent a bag of spuds!
I have a really nice jersey potato dish from Jersey pottery which I bought on a trip there. It got broken at the weekend but think after reading this I’m going to have to replace it. X


@annie: ME TOO!! And wow, I didn’t know that such a thing existed! LLGxx


New potatoes with wild garlic (chiffonade the wild garlic finely) and lemon butter (add zest) is my favourite Spring supper, although those jersey potatoes may take time to sail out to the Outer Hebrides.


@Fiona: goodness how delicious. I love wild garlic on pretty much anything in season. Shame I live in central London! LLGxx


Mmm looks delicious!
Fashion Ganache.


Because of you I shall now be eating potatoes for dinner. Who cares if I’m dieting, reading descriptions of potatoes makes me yearn for them! 🙂


@Pru: I don’t indulge nearly as often as I want to because of the dreaded carbs, but goodness I do love them LLGxx


YUM! It’s ok to make these at 10am for breakfast right?!


Can you email the name of contact details of the PR? I have a friend living in France desperate for some Jersey Royals and I’d love to send him some and spread the luuuurve!


It’s fantastic that you are getting ideas from this piece of writing as well as from our discussion made at this place.

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