The Delicate Profile Of The Bonnotte Potato

Spuds are a class act. Indeed, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't like potatoes. There is something special about this tuber that keeps us coming back for more — and not just when it's used for french fries. It is popularly served with holiday meals, made into pasta, or even cooked up as cheap and easy dinners. Whether it's the star of the show or a side, potatoes always shine. They were originally grown by the Incas in what is now the South American country of Peru but were eventually exported by the Spanish conquistadors to the Old World (via Little Potatoes). 

Today, we use them to make our vodkas and clam chowders, and they are grown everywhere, including the Bay of Biscay. In the Bay of Biscay is settled the Île de Noirmoutier, a small French island, which just so happens to grow the most expensive potatoes in the world (per Taste Atlas).

The world's most expensive spud

The latest report from the Potato Review in 2021 prices the Bonnotte potato at 500 Euros per kilogram; and it goes in the United States for $600 a kilogram. It is difficult to believe that anyone could — let alone would — buy the Bonnotte! Why would anyone drop that much on one kilogram? In short, it's all about location, supply, and demand.

According to Taste Atlas, the Île de Noirmoutier is relatively small, and these specific spuds are only grown in a 50-square-meter area on sandy, absorbent soil. The Bonnotte is a rare and extremely delicate potato, and not only is there a limited amount, but they must be carefully harvested by hand, which is part of what makes them so valuable. Fertilized with seaweed, the Bonnotte absorbs a touch of the sea's salty characteristics, and reportedly also has natural notes of lemon and walnut (via Fine Dining Lovers). All the special characteristics in this stem are skin deep, so whether you are using it in soups, salads, or by itself, never peel this particular potato, or you've lost your money's worth.