The Patata Quarantina bianca genovese (white potato of Genoa) is the most well known of the traditional potatoes grown in the Apennine Mountains in Liguria. It can be traced back to 1880, but many of its characteristics are similar to those of a variety already known at the end of the 1700s, when the first potatoes were planted in Liguria. From here, the potato spread rapidly across the Apennines to Emilia, the Piacenza area and high in the Taro Valley. Despite its name – quarantina means a brief 40-day period – it is a early season variety, suited for the sandy soil of the mountains. The potato is round and irregular in shape with medium to deep eyes and pink coloring at the base of the eyes. The skin is light in color, the flesh is white with a fine, compact texture, ideal for cooking.
The rebirth of the Patata Quarantina began in 1996, when the degenerated variety was only being cultivated by a few farmers for their own use and on the verge of disappearing. On April 13, 2000, after two years of planning, a consortium was founded to protect, promote, control and assist with the production of the historic potato.