Maine farmers have been growing potatoes in the state for generations. Certainly, lots of research still goes into making sure those potatoes are at peak quality. There is a potato taste testing facility at the University of Maine.
Volunteers at the Sensory Evaluation Center were judging four different kinds of baked potatoes on their color, flavor, texture, and how they liked them overall.
Miryellen Camire is a Professor of food science and human nutrition at the University. She says ongoing taste tests like this help Maine potato growers determine what new varieties they should grow. "Some of the traditional varieties need more pesticides or fertilizer or are more prone to disease, so these new varieties are more robust and they may taste better. When I was an assistant professor back in the early 90s, Yukon Gold was one of our experimental varieties. Now you can find Yukon Gold everywhere."
Wabi.tv reported on senators Angus King and Susan Collins recently announcing $550,000 in federal funding for continued potato research at the university.