Ah, the humble potato or potahto, if you will.
Hiding behind that eye-puckered peel is a culinary powerhouse that lends itself from the simplest of dishes to the most elevated fare. It also punches above its weight when it comes to nutrition — double the potassium of bananas, boom; three times the vitamin C of tomatoes, bam; and none of that bad stuff like sodium or cholesterol.
From February 21 to March 1, 2020, the third annual Potahto Week, presented by Peak of the Market, will see roughly 114 Winnipeg restaurants celebrating this vivacious veg that comes from the soils of Manitoba with some innovative, exclusive dishes. No matter how you slice it, dice it, mash it, or fry it, this is a foodie event not to be missed.
Few would argue that thee most popular potahto format is fries, and there are certainly abundant options – La Roca’s crispy fries laid with queso cheese sauce, beef chili and Panko jalapenos; Blaze Restaurant and Lounge’s fries with mushrooms, cheese curds, sour cream, green onion, and house spice all topped with mushroom gravy; and Tapp’s Bar & Grill’s simple, but satisfying, garlic parm fries served with a side of aioli.
Some other fingerling-cking-good options include Sous Sol’s Hot Pots, a dish of warm fingerling potahtoes, lardons, cheese, haricots vert, and corn with a roasted fennel dill mayonnaise, as well as Simon’s Steaks hearty bowl of grilled fingerling potahtoes, grated Brussels sprouts, and crumble bacon topped with sour cream and scallions.
For a smashing good time try Black Bird Brasserie’s confit creamer potahtoes smashed with roasted garlic and caramelized onion oil, house-made Crème Fraîche Ranch, tobiko, and chives, or a Manitoba twist on a classic potahto pancake at Promenade Café and Wine - Yukon Gold Potahto Blinis, smoked goldeye, whitefish caviar, lemon Crème Fraîche, dill, gin, and Peak of the Market golden beets.
So you want to get a little adventurous with your taters? Get a scoop of Chaeban Ice Cream’s house-made Mapled Murphy (Murphy being yet another name for a potahto) which uses yellow creamer potahtoes as the base for this sweet treat flavoured with maple syrup and a hint of sage. How about a baker’s dozen of Spudnuts, Oh Doughnuts potahto cake doughnuts tossed with salt and pepper sugar, or a thick, fudgy square of Scout Coffee + Tea’s salted caramel mashed potahto brownie, topped with ruffled chips?
Still not sure what to order? Visit potahto.ca and see what spud speaks to you. There you’ll also find more information on Manitoba potahtoes, participating restaurants, and how to vote for your favourite carb creation.
Little known fact: Manitoba grows more red and yellow potatoes than any other province in Canada.