They are fourth in the world. Are they among your favorite vegetables at home?

Slovaks have always loved potatoes, they were one of the staple foods on the menu. This is also confirmed by statistics – their consumption last year was 47.4 kg for each of us. If you like to treat yourself to them, you will certainly welcome the information that you can find them from Slovak growers in every Kaufland store.

You may not even know that potatoes are the fourth most consumed crop in the world after rice, wheat and corn. We certainly contribute to this, as do the Australians, who are said to consume up to 60 kg per capita per year, the Czechs even more.

Why not, because potatoes belong to a very tasty and healthy type of vegetables, and they are also easy to digest when properly prepared. They contain 80 percent water, starch, vitamins A, B and also have a high content of vitamin C and many minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, fluorine and sodium, as well as others.

He has been growing them for almost 30 years!

Potatoes were grown by his grandfather, then his father, and now himself. Mikuláš Sáraz, who grew up in a farming family, today farms 180 hectares of land in the vicinity of the village of Čechynce. Of this, he grows potatoes on 60 hectares, and corn, wheat and millet on the remaining area.

The daughters will probably not continue the tradition, they are realized in the field of gastro. He works in a small family business together with his wife, who has the management under her thumb. This of course means that they didn’t drink alcohol this summer either.

“Not really, summer is the busiest time. We’re such January vacationers,” laughs the farmer, who himself plants, waters and even digs the potatoes. He collects 25 tons in two hours with the plough. Then they sort the potatoes on a sorter and choose only the high quality ones. They deliver them both packaged and loose in boxes to the central warehouse in Ilava.

He has been working with the store chain for the third year and, according to him, is very satisfied. He started supplying the early side potato varieties Colombo and Carera in June, and he supplies the later variety Sunita until February.

“We continuously harvest potatoes as they ripen, from June to September – then we collect them all, sort them and store them in a modern, air-conditioned warehouse. We send them to Kaufland according to the orders,” explains M. Sáraz, adding that this year’s harvest is average, despite watering during hot, dry days.

Why do we have to import them?

In the past year, early potatoes were grown in Slovakia on an area of ​​1,200 hectares, late potatoes on 4,100 hectares and seed potatoes on an area of ​​260 hectares. This is not enough for us to be self-sufficient in the supply of potatoes.

For interest, let’s add that to ensure 80 percent self-sufficiency, we would need a planted area of ​​approximately 11,000 hectares.

“Currently, their cultivation is concentrated in the south of Slovakia and around Senec due to irrigation. In traditional potato places, they are rather in the background. However, in general, the cultivated areas are decreasing,” explains Jozef Šumichrast, president of the Association of Potatoes and Vegetables of the Slovak Republic.

One of the reasons for the decline of potato cultivation is the high cost compared to other field crops. Compared to the past, their consumption has also decreased, which is related to the change in eating habits in Slovak families – we eat more meat, rice and pasta.

In the current situation, he is all the more satisfied that Kaufland supports Slovak growers for a long time and offers them regular sales and cooperation with a strong chain on the market. With the aim of constantly increasing their share in the assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables, optimally throughout the year.

Can you choose correctly?

In order for your favorite recipe to be successful, it is important to choose the right type of potato – you can find the label or information on the package.

Cooking type A – salad potatoes: they are firm, do not break, slightly floury. Because they hold their shape firmly, they are suitable for preparing salads, cooking in the skin or baking in the oven when you cut them into slices.

Cooking type B – side potatoes: they are semi-solid and semi-flour. This type is most suitable for preparing side dishes, for salads, soups, for frying.

Cooking type C – for puree, pasta: potatoes are easier to boil, they are floury and you can best use them to prepare mashed potatoes, porridge or pasta.

Store-bought potatoes should be processed as soon as possible to prevent them from sprouting. They last longer if stored in a dark and dry place, optimally at a temperature of 4-10 °C. In a warmer environment they deteriorate faster, in a brighter environment they turn green – in both cases they lose their quality.

Fortunately, in the chain you can choose from different types of packages or loose potatoes, so you buy a quantity that you use quickly. You certainly have many of your own family recipes for their preparation, but you can also find delicious inspiration in the Kaufland online cookbook.

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