The dietetic potatoes developed by British scientists that are driving UK fish-and-chips fans crazy are grown in the Maon region of the Western Negev.
The "Vivaldi" potato, which contains only 70 calories per 100 grams - 33 percent less than that of conventional varieties - is grown by the Dod Moshe (Uncle Moshe) company. Of 10,000 tons grown in the Negev, 7,500 tons are being exported.
Vivaldi, which debuted on the BBC in London Tuesday, took nine years to develop. Not only does it have significantly fewer calories, but it also has much more vitamin C. The Sainsbury supermarket chain said the potato has a very pleasant "buttery taste," unlike other "diet" potatoes grown in the US that are reportedly not very appetizing.
Until now, Dod Moshe, which also grows parsnips that the British also favor, has sold very few Vivaldi potatoes in Israel. Starting this month, however, more will be sold in local supermarkets and produce stores.
The potato has fewer calories because its carbohydrate content is 26 percent lower than conventional potatoes.
Dod Moshe marketing director Haim Ben-Ari said Wednesday that Vivaldi is excellent for making mashed potatoes because it gets very soft when cooked in water. It can also be baked in aluminum foil or used to fill dough.
If you want low-calorie chips, forget it! Oil used to fry even Vivaldi potatoes is responsible for hundreds of calories.