Colorado is known for repping great local attractions to include vast hiking trails, glistening pow pow on the slopes, stellar craft beer and perhaps a lesser known fact, some seriously delicious spuds. Whether it’s in the San Luis Valley, Eastern Plains, or on the Front Range, growing conditions are ideal for potatoes with ample sunshine, higher elevations and mild conditions. From well-known varieties such as Russet and Yukon Gold to specialty potatoes like Purple Majesty and French Fingerling, Colorado grows more than 70 different types of taters. Overall the state ranks fifth as the as the largest potato producer in the nation, supplying more than 2 billion pounds of potatoes annually.

According to Colorado State University Extension: “The potato, or Solanum tuberosum, is in the plant family Solanaceae (nightshades). It is related to peppers, tomatoes and eggplants, but adapted to higher elevations and therefore is able to thrive in harsher growing conditions. Native to the Andes region of South America, potatoes were brought to Europe and later North America centuries ago. They serve as a good source of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6, fiber, and are naturally fat free.”

In this Pikes Peak inspired recipe, chef Jason K. Morse uses Purple Majesty potatoes, one of 22 varietals developed by Colorado State University since 1975. To find these indigo hued beauties, or tried and true yellow/white for that classic taste, don’t miss out on the end of summer push for peak produce at your local farmers market. Find convenient locations near you listed in the 2023 Farm Fresh Directory, available in both English and Spanish.

“Use Colorado purple potatoes, grown right here in our own backyard, to make a traditional potato salad pop with color and flavor,” says Chef Jason. “Happy Cooking!”

Try this vibrant “salad” with Colorado Proud’s pairing suggestions: A chilled glass of Restoration Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, a dry, light bodied white wine with crisp minerality. Or if starch on starch is your choice, opt for Newlin Gulch, a blonde ale from Barnett & Son Brewing Company, a family-run craft brewery in Parker, Colorado. For non-alcoholic options, try fresh-squeezed juices from Big B’s with seasonal peach apricot, refreshing lavender lemonade or cold pressed apple cider.

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Header image courtesy of Colorado Department of Agriculture