Variety, The Spice of Life

There are over 400 different Varieties of Kumara in the World but only three are readily available in our supermarkets in New Zealand.

Owairaka Red

The Red kumara we eat today was bought to New Zealand from South America in the 1850s and was quickly adopted as a superior variety to the originals. Over time, this variety has been propagated and selected for its dark red colour and superior performance.

This variety is now known as “Owairaka Red” and is the main commercial crop grown today in the Kaipara. Owaraika Red are firm textured making them an ideal salad or roasting kumara.


The Beauregard was originally from America and is grown and enjoyed in many countries as “sweet potato’. The Beauregard’s rich orange skin and sweet orange flesh makes it a colourful vegetable and a likely candidate for many sweet recipes.

Beauregards crop heavily and the digging is slow as their soft skins mark easily with rough handling.

Tokatoka Gold

The Tokatoka Gold is indigenous to the Kaipara, named after the iconic TokaToka Peak rising out of the otherwise flat landscape. Tokatoka Gold have a golden skin and a soft golden flesh. TokaToka golds are best roasted as they tend to have a very soft flesh.

Selection and Handling.

  • When purchasing Kumara, look for tubers that are firm and smooth with unbroken skin.
  • Buy regularly, preferably no more than a week’s supply to ensure minimal wastage.
  • Kumara should be handled carefully as they bruise easily and may spoil.
  • Store in a cool dark place similar to potato.
  • Do not refrigerate. Storage at less than 12°C may resulting in chilling injury which cause shriveling, increased decay and sometimes a hard core can develop.
  • Kumara are ethylene sensitive which means they should be stored separate from ethylene producing fruit and veges such as apples, tomatoes, bananas etc.

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