"It is an active retirement" This is the definition that Raul Reis attributes to this phase of his life. Raul dedicates to agriculture in the western region of the country. “I am reactivating some family properties” and they have already planted vines, pumpkins, barbela wheat (Portuguese variety) and four types of potatoes. The highlight? The Ratte potato.
Home Deliveries in Lisbon on Fridays
Jael Martins, Tasca do Joel
Texto de Patrícia Serrado
“I lived for 35 years in Luxembourg. I retired in 2015 and returned in 2017”, says Raul Reis. He got to know the Ratte potato on one of the many gastronomic trips. In France, the puree of the Ratte potato is common, thanks to the iconic recipe of chef Joël Robuchon. However, it is also the taste for cuisine that Raul Reis' appetite for knowledge. Furthermore, “I like to eat!”
First, “Lourinhã is the area par excellence for potato production in Portugal”, explains Raul Reis, entrepreneur, whether or not the West region was the country's vegetable and fruit matrix. “But the Ratte potato is very delicate. Only on the third attempt did I get it to work.” Coming from France, this small tuber in size, long in shape, and firm in texture, is planted on a hillside, with clay soils, which benefits from adequate drainage. The first harvest took place in 2020. The second in April 2021, with sowing in January of the same year. “Sowing can be done later, but it is good to take advantage of the rains”, he recommends.
In the kitchen, the Ratte potato “does not break down and has a flavour between chestnut and hazelnut. It is extremely greedy. It is, incomparably, the potato indicated for puree and it is also great for roasting in the oven, and the peels are exceptional chips!”
In addition to this tuber, Raul Reis plants Partridge-eye potatoes. "It has pink eyes similar to the eyes of partridges, hence the name", and is also known as Picasso potato. It is oval and has a yellow peel with small pink spots, and the inside is light yellow. It is suitable for baking. The Bricata potato, with yellow skin and flesh, is recommended for frying.
The portfolio of tubers by Raul Reis also includes the latest Asterix potato, with a dark pink peel. This one was “recommended by chef João Rodrigues because it is excellent for frying”, he reveals. It is crunchy and very tasty.