Shetland Black

The potato is suitable for roasting, baking or steaming. The potato is fairly small compared with modern cultivars, and when sliced has a purple ring near the edge.

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Description

Shetland Black is a dark purple heritage variety of potato.[1] It comes from the Shetland Islands,[2] and was developed in the Victorian era. The plant grows to a height of about 2.5 feet (0.76 m),[3] and is shallow-rooted and thus suitable for container growing. The potato is suitable for roasting, baking or steaming. The potato is fairly small compared with modern cultivars, and when sliced has a purple ring near the edge.[4] Once cooked it has a fluffy floury texture.[5]

Its colour derives from the presence of two pigments, peonidin and petunidin, which make up 52% and 38% of the total pigments, respectively.[6]

Popular lore has it that the ‘Shetland Black’ came to the British Isles by way of a stranded Spanish Armada ship, but because it matures early in the season that provenance is disproven.