“Of all the landmarks of time that I look forward to through the course of each year—from getting the Christmas Radio Times, to our local tennis courts suddenly becoming packed during Wimbledon—none gets me quite so twitchy in the build-up to its arrival as the first of the British new potatoes. They are the most delicious of markers that balmy evenings and lazy summer days are certainly near, if not quite here.
The only problem is, those potatoes run to nature’s schedule and no-one else’s. A long, rainy winter like the one we have just had in Britain inevitably means the new potatoes (or ‘earlies’ as they are also called, for obvious reasons) are not going to be with us nearly as early as they could be this year. This year I fear I will have to be as patient as the farmers, who could not start planting their new potatoes until significantly later than usual because their land was just too wet…”