Vitelotte, also known as Vitelotte noire, Négresse or Truffe de Chine, is a unique and delicious gourmet French variety of blue-violet potato that has been cultivated in France since the early 19th century. With its rich color and distinctive flavor, it is the perfect addition to any meal, whether you’re looking to make your salads more colorful or your meals more nutritious.
Despite its popularity in the past, vitelotte has fallen out of favor in recent decades, but with the recent resurgence of interest in purple foods, this heirloom variety is ready for a comeback. Packed with antioxidants and other health-promoting compounds, vitelotte is a delicious and nutritious addition to any diet. In this article, we’ll explore the many health benefits of vitelotte and learn more about this unique and flavorful variety of potatoes.
What Is Vitelotte?
The vitelotte potato is a unique and flavorful variety of potato that has a rich history and a vibrant appearance. Originally from Peru, it was introduced to Europe by the Spanish in the 16th century. This potato is part of the nightshade family and has a very dark and thin skin, almost black in color. The flesh of the vitelotte potato is purple due to its high anthocyanin content. Anthocyanin is a water-soluble pigment that gives red, purple or blue color to leaves, flowers, vegetables, and fruits.
In France, it is known as Vitelotte, Truffe de Chine (Chinese Truffle), Négresse, Vitelotte Noir, Chinese truffle, and black truffle. The potato was first cultivated in France in the 19th century. This variety of potato has a unique flavor and it is considered a gourmet item. The vitelotte potato is a great choice for those looking to add a splash of color to their meals. It is packed with antioxidants, making it a healthy option for those looking to improve their diet.
Description Of Vitelotte And What Do They Taste Like
Vitelotte potatoes are small to medium-sized potatoes that have an elongated and slender shape, similar to a fingerling potato. They have a cylindrical shape with irregular lumps, giving them a unique appearance. The skin is smooth and ranges from dark purple to deep violet blue.
It is also speckled with deep-set eyes, giving it a bumpy texture. The flesh of the potato is smooth, firm, and dense and has a deep purple hue that is occasionally marbled with white. The plants mature late, and compared to modern varieties, they are relatively low-yielding. The tubers are thick-skinned and thus keep well.
When cooked, these potatoes retain their vibrant hue and offer a dry, floury flesh with nuances of chestnuts. They have a nutty flavor and a smell that is similar to chestnuts. The color of the potato is retained while cooking due to the natural pigments in the anthocyanin group of flavonoids.
Overall, Vitelotte potatoes are a unique and flavorful variety of potatoes that adds a vibrant touch to any meal.
Nutritional Value Of Vitelotte
Vitelotte potatoes are not only visually striking but also nutritionally dense. They contain a variety of essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, B vitamins, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. They also have a good amount of carbohydrates, fiber, and protein.
Additionally, they are a rich source of folate and riboflavin. These potatoes are also a great source of phytochemicals and anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to various health benefits. Their low sodium and sugar content, as well as being gluten-free, make them a great addition to a healthy diet.
Vitelotte Health Benefits
Here are just a few of the many ways that these purple potatoes can improve your overall health.
Antioxidant Properties: The rich purple color of these potatoes is a dead giveaway for their antioxidant properties. They are a rich source of anthocyanins, which are flavonoids with powerful antioxidant effects. Studies have shown that anthocyanins can help maintain overall health and lower the risk of diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, and cancer. Even the skin of these potatoes is packed with health benefits, as it contains phenolic compounds and has a higher antioxidant activity than the flesh.
Anticancer Potential: Research suggests that vitelotte potatoes may have anticancer properties. A 2015 study by the Institute of Food Science in Italy found that these potatoes had anti-proliferative properties, which could help against colon and breast cancer. Another study published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal found that the anthocyanins present in vitelotte can inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells and induce apoptosis.
Dermatitis Treatment: There is also research to suggest that vitelotte extract may be beneficial in treating atopic dermatitis. A study conducted on mice in 2014 found that vitelotte extract helped alleviate skin lesion symptoms. While more research is needed, these findings are promising for those looking for natural ways to treat this condition.
Overall, the nutritional and health benefits of vitelotte potatoes make them a great addition to any diet. Whether you’re looking to boost your antioxidant intake or support your overall health, these potatoes are a delicious and nutritious option.
Recipe Ideas And How To Cook And Eat Vitelotte
Vitelotte potatoes are a unique and delicious addition to any meal. The best part is that they retain their striking purple color when cooked, making them a visually appealing and delicious option for any dish. These potatoes can be cooked in a variety of ways, such as boiling, baking, frying, and steaming, so the possibilities are endless! Here are a few recipe ideas to get you started:
Mashed Potatoes: Vitelotte potatoes make a delicious mash, whether they are paired with other potatoes or used on their own. Serve them with fish fingers or chicken for a hearty and satisfying meal.
Chips: Slice the potatoes thinly, coat them with oil and spices, and bake them for 15-20 minutes for crispy purple chips. Perfect for movie nights or as a unique side dish.
Potato Salad: Boil the potatoes until they are fork-tender, then add them to a bowl with some vinegar. Mix in celery, green onions, and hard-boiled eggs, then add a mayonnaise mixture with yellow mustard, celery seeds, salt, and pepper. A tasty and colorful side dish.
Fries: Coat potato slices with olive oil, salt, and paprika, then bake for 20-25 minutes for crispy, flavorful fries.
Vitelotte potatoes also pair well with other ingredients such as cherry tomatoes, garlic, avocados, balsamic vinegar, and blue cheese, so you can customize your recipes and use them in different ways. They have a dry texture which makes them great for making pancakes and gnocchi as well. So go ahead, get creative and enjoy the unique taste and nutritional benefits of vitelotte potatoes!