The characteristicsLoved by young and old alike, potatoes are used to make the filling for Mugello's most well-liked dish: the tortello di patate. Potatoes that are grown in Mugello are white, yellow or red. They are generally oval, uniform and without deformities, and range from 50 to 80 mm in size. Potatoes that are smaller, 30-50 mm or less, are also very good. There is also an fast growing production of organic potatoes in the territory.
“The famine of 1817, which resulted from the impoverishment brought on by the Napoleonic wars, brought starvation to the population of Mugello. As a result, Grand Duke Ferdinando 3rd urged potato growing to help reduce the effects of the famine.
The parish priest of Olmi ( a locality near Borgo San Lorenzo, editor’s note), states that part of these potatoes where given to the poor to plant. The priest planted 400 potatoes, for which he had paid 8 lire every 100 potatoes, and reaped 12,260, which he then sold at 5,5 copper pots every 100…A century later, in the 1940’s, 400 hectares of potatoes were growing in Mugello, and the town that had the most was Vicchio”. (From “Il vero tortello mugellano” by Tebaldo Lorini).
How and where they are produced
Potatoes are planted in March. The land is then earthed up twice and often needs watering.
The harvest is in August. The potatoes are then put into cold storage and do not use any form of chemical treatment to stop vegetative reproduction.
In Mugello the white mountain potato is grown in Firenzuola, while the potato of the valley is bio.
Three hundred thousand kilos of potatoes are produced in Mugello every year.