The 46th annual Alliston Potato Festival has just ended on August 11, but a new potato variety named after the town will continue to bring publicity to the spud capital of Ontario.
Alliston is a new scab-resistant potato variety that tastes a lot like Yukon Golds. Quebec potato breeder André Gagnon is credited with developing the potato with a round to oval shape, smooth skin, white flesh, with an early maturity and resistance to the common scab, the most common potato disease in the province.
The process to develop and register the potato with the Canadian Inspection Food Agency took a decade says Dr. Eugenia Banks, a consultant to the Ontario Potato Board. She has conducted trials for three years.
Potato variety development is a long and tedious process, that starts in the field but continues to the lab for taste tests.
“I have seen a few varieties that made it all the way 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,” says Banks.
Source: Simcoe.com August 7, 2019