New Alliston Potato Variety Surfaces from Canada
A new variety of potato named Alliston was officially registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, making it the first spud to take its name from the potato capital of Ontario, writes Simcoe.
The new variety was developed by a potato breeder from Quebec who wanted to create a spud with a round to oval shape, smooth skin, white flesh, with early maturity and resistance to the common scab, the most common potato disease in the province.
The entire process from development to registration took about a decade to complete, according to Dr. Eugenia Banks, a potato specialist with the Ontario Potato Board who was cited by the report.
In order for a new variety to become viable for large-scale production, she said they are put through a “gauntlet” of challenges they must meet or exceed. The trail starts in the field, but it does not end there.
According to Banks, some varieties can make it through the rigorous selection process only to fall victim to problems with fusarium dry rot or some other issue that never surfaced despite all the years of testing.
Last but not least, a new variety has to pass the human taste test. Banks notes the Alliston variety is tasty, having a starch content similar to a Yukon Gold potato, making it suitable for just about any type of cooking from mashing and roasting to frying.
The specialist goes on to say that if Alliston continues to show promise, more farmers might take notice, which could lead to the variety being grown on a larger scale.