Shetland Black potato

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Potato 'Shetland Black'
Shetland Black potatoes.jpg
Seven uncooked unpeeled 'Shetland Black' potatoes on a checked cloth background
SpeciesSolanum tuberosum
Cultivar'Shetland Black'
OriginShetland Islands

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.[7]


  1. ^ Kapoor, Sybil (2013). The Great British Vegetable Cookbook. Pavilion. p. 382. ISBN 9781909881051.
  2. ^ Stocks, Christopher (2009). Forgotten Fruits: The stories behind Britain's traditional fruit and vegetables. Random House. p. 186. ISBN 9781409061977.
  3. ^ Synopsis of the vegetable products of Scotland in the museum of the Royal botanic gardens of Kew. Peter Lawson & Son. 1852. p. 47.
  4. ^ Devine, Cate (17 September 2010). "A guide to Scotland's potato varieties". The List. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  5. ^ Cloake, Felicity (2011). Perfect: 68 Essential Recipes for Every Cook's Repertoire. Penguin. p. 117. ISBN 9780141971650.
  6. ^ Singh, Jaspreet; Kaur, Lovedeep (2016). Advances in Potato Chemistry and Technology. Elsevier Science. p. 263. ISBN 9780128005767.
  7. ^ Hirst, Christopher (22 January 2009). "Potato recipes: Chips off the old block". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 June 2016.