Vitelotte Potato: Nutrition, Benefits, & Uses

by Jinal Gangar last updated -

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Whether you are looking to make your salads colorful or your meals healthier, vitelotte is the potato for you. It isn’t as widely grown as it was in the previous decades but with the rise in popularity of purple foods, this heirloom variety is ready for a comeback. Packed with antioxidants, these potatoes are beneficial for your health in a number of ways. So are you ready to have a splash of purple hue on your plate? Before that, let’s take a look at the characteristics of a vitelotte.

What is Vitelotte?

Vitelotte is a French variety of purple potatoes, known for its vibrant interior and exterior. It belongs to the Solanum tuberosum species of the Solanum genus. It is also known as Truffe de Chine, Négresse, Vitelotte Noir, Chinese truffle, and black truffle. Vitelotte potatoes were introduced to France in the 19th century. Prior to that, they were believed to have been residing in ancient Peru about 800 years ago.

The skin color of vitelotte goes from dark violet-blue to deep purple. The flesh of this potato is firm and dense and it has an artistic purple hue marbled with white. Vitelotte gets this color from a plant pigment called anthocyanin. This compound is responsible for the colors, red, purple, and blue in fruits and vegetables.

These potatoes come in small to medium size. They are similar to fingerling potatoes and are cylindrical in shape with irregular lumps. Vitelotte potatoes have a nutty flavor, which is similar to that of chestnuts.

A couple of vitelotte sliced on a wooden board

Vitelotte potatoes sliced on a wooden board Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition

Vitelotte potatoes are a rich source of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, vitamin C, vitamin B, folate, and riboflavin. They also contain minerals like iron, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. These purple potato variants are a source of phytochemicals and anthocyanin, which is a powerful antioxidant. The fact that vitelotte potatoes are low in sodium and sugar, and are gluten-free, makes them an important part of a healthy diet.

Benefits of Vitelotte

Vitelotte has many health benefits due to its nutritional makeup. So. let’s take a look at the researched benefits in detail.

Antioxidant Properties

The rich purple color of these potatoes gives more than a hint about their antioxidant properties. They are a rich source of anthocyanins, which are flavonoids with antioxidant effects. Multiple studies have shown that anthocyanins help in maintaining your health and lowering the risk of diabetes, arthritis, and cancer. While most people discard the skin, evidence shows that potato skin contains phenolic compounds and has a higher antioxidant activity than the flesh.

Anticancer Potential

A 2015 study conducted by the Institute of Food Science, Avellino, Italy suggests that vitelotte has anti-proliferative properties. The research suggests that these potatoes can help against colon cancer and breast cancer. Another study published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal shows that the anthocyanins present in vitelotte help inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells and induce apoptosis as well.

Dermatitis Treatment

Research shows that oral administration of vitelotte extract may help in treating atopic dermatitis. A study was conducted on mice in 2014 by Korean researchers to determine the effects of this extract. The mice in the study were NC/Nga, which are inbred and used as a human atopic dermatitis model for their biological properties. The results of this study show that vitelotte extracts help to alleviate skin lesion symptoms. However, more research is still going on to ascertain this treatment option on humans.

Recipe Ideas

Vitelotte potatoes are versatile and they retain their purple color when cooked, unlike many varieties of purple potatoes that shed their original color. You can cook them in a number of ways like boiling, baking, frying, and steaming. Here are a few dishes you can make using the black truffle.

Mashed potatoes: Whether combined with other potatoes or on their own, these potatoes make an excellent mash. Pair it with fish fingers or chicken and you are all set for a hearty meal.

Chips: Coat thinly sliced potatoes with oil and spices in a bowl and bake them for about 15 to 20 minutes to get crispy, purple chips for your movie nights.

Potato salad: Cut the potatoes into cubes and boil the potatoes until they are fork-tender. Add them to a bowl and toss some vinegar on them. Add celery, green onions, and 2 hardboiled eggs in the bowl. Take a separate bowl and mix mayonnaise, yellow mustard, celery seeds, salt, and pepper. Now add the mayonnaise mixture into the veggies and mix well. Enjoy your salad!

Fries: In a bowl, pour olive oil, salt, and paprika and mix well. Now add potato slices into the bowl and mix in such a way that all the potatoes are coated with spices. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 20-25 minutes.

For food lovers and cooking enthusiasts, vitelotte pairs well with cherry tomatoes, garlic, avocados, balsamic vinegar, and blue cheese. So you can customize your recipes and use it in different ways. It has a dry texture so you can use it to make pancakes and gnocchi as well.

Buying and Storing

Vitelotte is considered a gourmet variety as it is grown in France and the United Kingdom. It is available in many specialty stores and online stores. These potatoes will keep up to three weeks when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place away from moisture and refrigeration.

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About the Author
 Jinal, an ex-banker who has completed her MBA in finance from Mumbai University, is passionate about health and wellness. She is a social media enthusiast. She has completed an online program on “Introduction to Food and Health” from Stanford University, US. On weekends you can find her in cafes or movie theaters. Positivity drives her and she finds peace in cooking, reading, and coffee!
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