In Gran Sasso National Park, an ancient potato variety has been rediscovered and recovered: the so-called turchesa potato. This potato has been named after the color of its skin. Many elderly people remember it, but it has disappeared from their tables. The project aims at reintroducing and studying this variety starting from the very few tubers that have been found in the original production area - Isola del Gran Sasso (TE) and San Pietro di Crognaleto - but also in other Municipalities and at different altitudes, to assess its behavior, agronomic and sensorial features, in order to reduce the risk of complete extinction.
Current Production Area in the Park: The project has led to the creation of a network of producers scattered throughout the Park area: in the Province of L'Aquila, Assergi, Barisciano, Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Castelvecchio Calvisio, Castel del Monte, Campotosto; in the Province of Teramo, Isola del Gran Sasso, Arsita, Valle Castellana, Campli; in the Province of Pescara, Farindola, Villa Celiera; in the Province of Rieti, Accumoli and Amatrice.
The features of the potato are given by the combination of environmental conditions and the specific nature of the genotype. The tuber is mainly characterized by a skin with an intense violet color containing an interesting quantity of antioxidants. The chemical and nutritional features of turchesa potato highlight antioxidant properties due to the presence of some substances in the skin. According to the first quality-sensorial analyses carried out in the lab, turchesa potato has a high content in dry substance, an average consistency and granulosity making it suitable to various uses.
Product Availability: It is sown in May and harvested in October.
Turchesa potato was included in 2011 in the list of Traditional AgriFoodstuffs (PAT) of the Regions Lazio and Abruzzi.