Purple is defined as being a range of colours between red and blue. It has become one of my favourite colours, for wearing (goes well with white/grey hair!) and for stitching in various forms. Originally derived from a molusc in ancient times, purple dye was rare and expensive, so became associated with nobility and royalty as they were the only folk able to afford it. It comes in a wide range of tints and shades, often with names of their own, for example:- violet, lavender, heliotope, mauve, etc. There have been books, films and bands all using purple in their names or titles, it’s a colour associated with death in Japan, but one that was once worn in mourning as a transient colour from black, one year after a person’s death. It has various connotations across cultures, literature, and science…….but have you heard about purple potatoes?
A couple of years ago a friend gave me a single Purple Congo Potato which I divided into four pieces and planted. These potatoes originally came from Peru, and one can find them occasionally in gourmet veggie shops, or in seed catalogues if you wish to try growing them. My plants were vigorous in their growth, grew very large and had roots reaching a good metre from the plant, but did produce a reasonable crop of very knobbly long spuds. I did not particularly like them, and attempted to remove every trace of them from the vegetable plot – but I failed! The minute ones left in the ground grew the following year, and I did the same thing again. I have just dug them again…the third time ….to cook and share with my visitor who had never had them. I think they are weird, lack flavour, and really do not look appetizing! Judge for yourselves….
My visitor wanted them mashed……
I did not eat all of mine……..
(Purple, green and white…….the colours of the Suffragettes and International Women’s Day)