The first newspaper clippings that talk about this incredible species of tuber are from 1920. The Bonnotte was expected to receive the gold medal for the world’s rarest and most expensive potato, appears to have been “born” between the two World Wars in the small French town of Barfleur in Lower Normandy.
Around 1920, it seems the potato had moved to the nearby island of Noirmoutier. Towards the mid-1900s, a national challenge was held to elect France’s tastiest potato, and the Bonnotte variety placed only fourth, And yet, as the French began to eat more and savoury delicacies like foie gras, and cheeses like Roquefort and Camembert, they began to talk more interest in this flavourful tuber.
Once it was discovered that the variety came from the island of Noirmoutier, the nation decided to exclusively cultivate there, without trying to grow it in other areas of the country. The Bonnotte potatoes are often sold together with packets of coarse sea salt from the same region.