Spuds, spuds, glorious spuds!

John Marshall outside Archibld Findlay's original seed factory, where a plaque was erected last year
John Marshall outside Archibld Findlay's original seed factory, where a plaque was erected last year

Auchtermuchty is set to confirm its reputation as the tattie capital of the world as the town prepares to host its second potato festival.

The event, which takes place on November 7, is being spearheaded by local expert John Marshall, who recently retired after devoting his entire working life to the not-so-humble spud.

It follows the resounding success of last year’s inaugural potato festival and will include tastings, a best-dressed potato competition, potato throwing and even potato juggling.

But the highlight of the event, to be held in Auchtermuchty Church Hall, is likely to be the stovies competition, when 2014 champion Chris Duffy will be defending his title.

Chris showed he really knew his onions last year when he scooped the coveted title with a dish based on Isle of Jura potatoes.

Anyone who thinks they can match Chris’s stovie skills can enter by contacting Tannochbrae Tearoom proprietor - and reigning world cullen skink champion - Neal Robertson at tannochbrae1@aol.com

Other attractions include a fast-moving talk by John - known to many in ‘Muchty as ‘the tattie man’ - on the highlights of his potato year.

The burgh of Auchtermuchty occupies an important place in the history of potato production as it was here that potato pioneer Archibald Findlay had a seed factory. It was Findlay who produced the first blight-resistant spud following the Irish potato famine and it was his work that led to the breeding of the 4000 varieties in existence today.

Last year, Findlay was one of 12 Scottish luminaries to receive a plaque from Historic Scotland and John Marshall led the celebrations as the unsung hero was honoured at last. The plaque was erected on the building now known as ‘The Old Factory’ 93 years after Findlay’s death. The potato is now the world’s fourth most important food crop .

For up-to-date information about the potato festival and to get tickets, checkout the Auchtermuchty International Festival Facebook page.