A SCOTTISH producer expects to sell “well over 1000 tonnes” of Ayrshire new potatoes this season, a weight equivalent to roughly 150 elephants, or 111,000 Scotty dogs.

The distinctive oval Ayrshire new potatoes, which have just received official EU protected geographical indication (PGI) status, are regarded as among the best in the world and are only available from June until early September.

Scotty Brand has secured a nationwide listing with Asda meaning that the much-loved Scottish spuds will be available across England too.

Now food fans across the country can enjoy them from this Sunday.

The Ayrshire new potatoes will join Scotty Brand’s strawberries and raspberries which launched earlier in the summer.

Jamie McCoo, who is arguably Britain’s biggest Ayrshire potato lover, is particularly pleased by the news.

Last year, the retired electrician, 70, who lives in Deal in Kent, had to make his annual 1000-mile round trip across the country to stock up on his favourite pick of the crop, as they weren’t available south of the border.

This year his petrol money can be spent on sourcing his beloved Ayrshires in Asda stores much closer to home in Kent.

Jamie enthusiastically explained: “I’m thrilled that I don’t have to make my annual pilgrimage from Kent to Scotland to collect my Ayrshire potatoes this year.

“People think I’m bonkers, but these potatoes were a big part of my childhood and my mother always told me that the first dig produced the best batch.”

Richard Allison, general manager of Scotty Brand, said: “Grown in sandy soil warmed by the Gulf Stream and fertilised by seaweed, the first and finest new potatoes grown in Scotland come from Ayrshire.

“It’s fantastic that customers south of the border can now enjoy them thanks to this seasonal listing with Asda.”

He says the PGI status: “gives legal standing to our claim that they are a special food”.

“The growing conditions of the Ayrshire region, combined with the experience and skill of the growers, make this a unique product which cannot be replicated elsewhere.”

Available to purchase in 750g bags, the firm, waxy texture of the wispy skinned potatoes means they keep their shape once cooked and cut for a superb potato salad.

They can be mashed or even roasted, but Ayrshires are best scrubbed gently and boiled or steamed for around 15-20 minutes, before being enjoyed with a melt of butter or enveloped in mayonnaise and perhaps sprinkled with parsley, mint or chopped spring onions.