Bake the potatoes in their jackets for 1 hour in a hot oven. Remove from the oven and, when cool enough to handle, cut in half and scoop out the middle. With a fork mash the potato with the cheese, egg yolks and seasoning. Put the mixture back into the skins and return to the oven for 10–15 minutes until browned.
A rare variety of French potato – Bonnotte de Noirmoutier – which almost died out in the 1960s, was sold at the Drouot auction house in Paris for £387 a kilo in 1996. Grown on a bed of seaweed, the growing cycle begins on 2 February and ends exactly ninety days later. The slightest bruising causes self-mashing.
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