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Yale and HZPC collaborate in quest for a better potato

Yale has a potato to call its own — two, in fact, and both varieties are already appearing in Yale dining halls, writes Brita Belli in a recent news article published by YaleNews.

Through a partnership with Netherlands-based potato seed company HZPC, a Connecticut farm is growing special, nutrient-dense potatoes for the university that are tailor-made for the state’s climate and soil.

The Jennifer potato, with its white skin and creamy texture, and the Maggie potato, with its yellow skin and buttery taste, are the first Yale-specific potatoes being grown from these seeds, at Cecarellis Harrison Hill Farm in Northford, about 10 miles east of New Haven. 

“These are the first potatoes of their kind grown in the state of Connecticut,” said Benson. “The seeds were developed through traditional breeding techniques that are customized to complement our local growing conditions while producing a high-yield crop.” 

On a recent sun-drenched fall day at the farm, members of the Yale Hospitality team and produce distributor Freshpoint helped to harvest the potatoes by hand as a tractor made its way down the rows, turning over the soil. Some potatoes were washed, boiled, and pan-fried to be sampled on site. 

While students could not attend the farm trip due to COVID-19 restrictions, Benson said connecting students with the origins of their food, sustainable growing practices, and healthy eating are all part of Yale Hospitality’s “Better for You” menu philosophy.

Source: YaleNews. Read the original news item here
Photo: Potatoes harvested from Cecarellis Harrison Hill Farm, Connecticut. | Christelle Ramos/Yale Hospitality

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