Rare Northumberland-grown potatoes go on sale in Tesco as top restaurants remain closed

Northumberland-grown heritage potatoes that would normally only go to top UK restaurants are to be sold by Tesco.

Thursday, 21st May 2020, 1:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st May 2020, 3:08 pm

The supermarket giant stepped into help Carroll’s Heritage Potatoes after its usual market dried up when restaurants were forced to close due to coronavirus.

The business, based at Tiptoe Farm, near Etal, had been left with several hundred tonnes of top quality potatoes on their hands.

While some could have been put in limited storage space a lot would likely have ended up rotting.

Carroll's Heritage Potatoes are on sale at Tesco.

However, over the next few weeks shoppers will be able to buy four of these very rare and delicious varieties at up to 600 Tesco stores across the UK.

Tesco potato buying manager Ben Rowbotham said: “We are really honoured to be able to sell these wonderful tasting luxury potatoes that would not otherwise be readily available in UK supermarkets.“These are some of the best quality heritage potatoes around in the UK and the fact that they are snapped up by top restaurants and celebrity chefs is testament to that.

“But they will only be on sale while stocks last and we think that once word gets round they will go pretty quickly. Basically when they’re gone, they’re gone.”Carroll’s has worked with celebrity chefs such as Tom Kerridge and Jamie Oliver in the past, as well as Simon Rogan’s award-winning L’Enclume which was named the number one restaurant in the UK by The Good Food Guide 2020.

Lucy Carroll, who founded the business with her husband Anthony, said: “These are not commercially grown heritage potato varieties and we produce to them for a niche but loyal market of gourmet chefs and restaurants.

Lucy Carroll with Yukon Gold 1980, Red King Edwarrd 1916, Violetta and Shetland Black 1923.

“We produce them twice a year, right now in mid-spring and then later in autumn, so the current pandemic could not have come at a worse time for us.

“Through word of mouth we made contact with major UK potato supplier Branston who work with Tesco and who managed to help us find an outlet.

“We are very proud that for the first time ever our heritage potatoes will be available to buy on high streets across the UK.”

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Carroll's Heritage Potatoes.

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