(Feb. 13) Chinese space potatoes are the latest culinary fad to hit the trendy commercial hub of Shanghai, according to the Shanghai Daily newspaper.

The slightly sweet, purple potatoes are named Purple Orchid Three and are bred from seeds that mutated while being carried aboard a Chinese spacecraft.

Haikou Purple Orchid Co. Ltd. is promoting the potatoes as a unique food option, and restaurants are featuring them for Valentine's Day dinners served crispy fried or in salads, desserts and iced drinks.

Plants grown from such seeds can be hardier, more nutritious and produce higher yields, Chinese agricultural experts say. However, some scientists say similar effects could be achieved in ordinary laboratories here on Earth.