The Isle of Ré and the potato form have formed a union since the 18th century that endures to this day. The individuality of the Isle of Ré potato comes from the expertise of the Ré islanders and the selection of the best terroirs.
The unmistakable taste of the potato is guaranteed by an official tasting jury, regulated by the French National Institute of Origin and Quality. Since 1998, the Isle of Ré potatoes benefit from a protected designation of origin status on the European level. Obtaining this prestigious sign of quality is paired with respecting a strict series of rules on the production of the potatoes, and which certify that the methods of production are recognized as guaranteeing optimal quality.
Isle of Ré potatoes include three varieties, Alcmaria, Charlotte, and Léontine. Alcmaria is perhaps the best known, as it is only produced on the Isle of Ré. It is the flagship potato of the island, and is available at market starting in mid-April. At the beginning of the season, its skin is fluffy, thin and nearly transparent. Its flesh will melt in your mouth and its taste is unique in the world of potatoes.
Only about 20 different farms are involved in producing these unique potatoes, and produce about 2,000 metric tons each year. The producers respect best practices and engage in an agriculture that limits impacts on the environment as much as possible.