What's in Season at the Farmers Markets: Pinto/Zebra Potatoes, or Laker Bakers
If you say you bleed purple and gold, chances are you might be one of those people. You know, face paint, multiple car flags, wrist warmers at the office, color coordinated food for your game viewing party menus. With the Lakers now playing in the NBA finals, it's good to know that you can now add exclusive purple and gold potatoes to the list, courtesy of Weiser Family Farms.
Felicia Friesema Zebra/Pinto/Laker Bakers at Weiser Family Farms
Last year, when these first showed up at the Weiser stalls, they had called them Zebra potatoes. But now, Alex Weiser is tossing a few other names into the ring. At this Sunday's Hollywood Market, they had the opportunistic nom de pomme (de terre) "Laker Baker." But wary of possible legal implications, Alex renamed them to Pintos. Why all the flux?
"It's a totally new and exclusive variety. We've planted double what we did last year," said Weiser, since it did so well last season. But when asked about its origins, he clams up. "We're working quietly with an agricultural center." Novel and visually striking potatoes, it seems, are the stuff agricultural celebrities are made of. One can only assume finding the right name is going to be a major key to its success. Readers are encouraged to submit their name suggestions in the comments. We'll be sure to pass them on.
The Zebra/Pinto potato's conspicuous purple and gold coloring is only skin deep, so keep its "jacket" on. Weiser suggests baking them whole. "They have a great starchiness." And they do, very much like a compact Russet. And of course, this keeps the flashy packaging intact. We ended up quartering them and roasting them with flowering thyme and chives from the ABC Rhubarb stand with outstanding results. They're buttery and nutty and would probably hold their own quite well in Weiser's stable of heirloom fingerlings and boilers, even without the wacky skin color advertising them. Lucky for Weiser, the unusual coloring draws people in. And lucky for us, they're only available here in L.A. But only at the Weiser stands at local markets, and only for the next three weeks or so, carrying us right through the NBA finals. Laker Bakers indeed.
Felicia Friesema Alex Weiser with his fresh green Bermuda onions - here for a couple of weeks.