Maintenance and scaling up potato growing and consumption heritage in Northern Baltic region to build up resilient communities

Diverse Potatoes - in Theory and Practice

07 March 2024
On February 27th an event titled "Diverse Potatoes - in Theory and Practice" took place in the Vidzeme Technical and Design School.
Technical details

The Vidzeme Planning Region, by organizing the Vidzeme Innovation Week 2024, drew attention to several sustainable development goals, including sharing, collaborating, and seeing opportunities; resource potential, and change of habits.

The MainPotRe project’s leading partner AREI organized several events within Vidzeme Innovation Week 2024. They all were about collaboration, sharing, a shift in perspective, and seeing potential in such a humble resource as potatoes.

On February 27th an event titled “Diverse Potatoes – in Theory and Practice” took place in the Vidzeme Technical and Design School. In the first part of the event, researchers from the Institute of Agricultural Resources and Economics (AREI) provided deeper insights into the diversity and rich nutritional value of potato crops. In the second part, attendees had the opportunity to taste various potato varieties bred in Priekuļi, Latvia, and later gave their evaluations. They could also try potato snacks prepared by the 3rd year students of the school’s culinary program, such as khachapuri, potato pizza, potato and cheese croquettes, waffles, potato and nut cookies, potato roulette with minced meat, and even potato and banana salads – all made of potato varieties created in Priekuli. The potato is one of the most common staple foods in Latvia, but after this lecture and tasting, many participants admitted that their world of potatoes got much broader – one can only wonder at how diverse potatoes can be and the possibilities of preparing them!

“It was interesting; I learned a lot of valuable information,” admitted Solvita Jānelsiņa-Zeltiņa. She grows potatoes of various varieties in her home garden, “Only those that taste good. Something new always appears; I want to try it,” revealed the resident of Liepa. Meanwhile, Inese Dedumeta from Priekuli said that her husband is a great admirer of potatoes, but she was not, but learning how valuable they are, changed her mind. “I grow German ‘Belarosa’ and our own ‘Priekuļu Agros.’ (Agrie Dzeltenie? Authors’ note). I think I should plant another variety,” admitted Sandra Ganiņa and added that young people eat few potatoes in their daily lives and it is believed that they are nutritious, but they avoid boiled and fried ones.
Vidzeme Technical and Design School thanked the event organizers “United by Potato Power – MainPotRe,” for sharing information and promoting public understanding of local potato varieties and the significance of potatoes as a nutrient-rich food.