Conan Connolly of Transition Monaghan is on a mission to find the tastiest potatoes in South Monaghan and encourage more people to grow their own. He is looking for potato growers to join in a new type of potato growing and tasting competition. Here he fills us on the details of ‘An Spud Off Mór’
What is it? It’s a competition to find the best potato in South Monaghan. The idea of the growing and tasting competition started in Co Kerry and we thought it would be great to try it out in Co Monaghan.
Why have it? Firstly its to celebrate the humble spud, its importance to our diet and in our history.
Secondly, its to begin to build a transition community and to allow growers, GIY (Grow it Yourself) enthusiasts and foodies to meet and have fun around growing and tasting potatoes.
Where & when does it happen? The event will be held in John Joe Cunningham’s Loft on Saturday, 22 August at 1pm.
Who is involved and who can compete? Anyone who grows potatoes and interested others ccan come along. The competition is a local one, so contestants must be growers who have grown the potatoes locally. Eligible parishes are Annaghmullen, Ballybay, Carrickmacross, Castleblayney (Muckno), Corduff, Donaghmoyne, Inniskeen, Kilanny, Latton & Magheracloone
How does the judging work? Tasting will be ‘blind’ and will be undertaken by a panel of 5 judges. Five whole hot spuds of tasting standard must be presented. Spuds must be either boiled or steamed, with nothing added including butter, salt and pepper. The spuds must be delivered by the contestants or by a family member at the time advised by the organisers – late arrival may result in penalty. Scoring will be out of 10 for each of Appearance, Texture, Smell, Taste and Overall Satisfaction Level. Independent persons will then deliver the spuds to the judges, to keep the process ‘blind’ (independent and objective). The sequence of presentations to judges will be decided by a lot drawn by the organisers. Cooking can be done at home or at/near the tasting location. Each contestant must be present during the competition. Each contestant is responsible for organising his/her own cooking. Contestants must nominate their spud variety when registering.
Are there prizes & entry fees? There is no monetary prize, but certificates will be presented to the winners. Registration is just €10 per entry. Proceeds are in aid of Transition Monaghan. To enter contact Conan on 086 0641864.