Comber by name not variety
Comber Earlies are characterised and valued by their unique appearance and flavour. The potatoes physically will be relatively small in size between 30-70mm and they may be round or oval depending on variety.
Now to dispel a myth about the Comber potato. There is no such thing as a potato variety called Comber. The mention of the area only refers to the place of origin of the potato i.e. where it was originally grown. Therefore the different shapes of round or oval may only be attributed to a difference in variety.
Traditional varieties such as Home Guard and Dunluce along with newer varieties like Accord and Casa Blanca are common Comber Earlies options.
Potatoes should also have their characteristic soft, smooth and thin loose skin. This will indicate that the potatoes were harvested while their foliage was still dark green and growing. Normal everyday potatoes, such as those available during the autumn and winter months have all been desiccated or their foliage burned off up to three weeks prior to harvesting. This allows their skin to harden and set making the potatoes much less susceptible to harvest damage and post harvest spoilage. Comber Earlies are harvested while their foliage is still green and their skin have not set. This means they must be harvested much more slowly and carefully than other varieties.
It is then vital that Comber Earlies are delivered to their point of use very promptly after harvest. Ideally a lag time of no more than 24 hours from field to fork is best practise. This will preserve their distinctive earthy, sweet and nutty flavour accompanied with a freshness you can really taste.