I have grown Vales Emerald for several seasons, including 2012, in my garden in north Cumbria, which gets high rainfall virtually every year. The reason I have stuck with them is precisely because they have NOT broken up on boiling, like a number of other varieties I have tried, and because, in our experience, they have had excellent flavour and a nice waxy texture, which we like. I have also grown Charlotte for a number of years for the same reasons, i.e. don't break up on boiling, excellent flavour and waxy texture. I also grow Valor for my maincrop because they too do not break down on cooking. I have had lots of disappointments with other recommended first earlies, salads and maincrops with respect to breakdown on cooking but, after a lot of trial and error, settled on the above 3 varieties. I heard the allotment guy (Terry?) on Jeremy Vine's mid-day Radio 2 programme say that the cooking breakdown was due to high rainfall during growth, but I am sceptical of this explanation because of the rainfall levels we get in Cumbria. I wondered if the reason I got poor results with other varieties might have been because I have a very sandy soil and/or because my garden is fairly shaded, which might reduce photosynthate levels and thus restrict starch accumulation in the tubers, which, in turn, might have an effect on cooking quality and texture. Whatever, the performances of the 3 varieties above, including VE, have been consistently good in my experience. Last year I couldn't get VE and grew Accord instead. The quality of the tubers was very good but yields seemed to be lower than for VE.