The potato, that simple tuber plant almost universally loved by all cultures, has been around for a long time. Here’s how the potato got passed around.
If you think the Irish were responsible for the potato, there’s a little sopresa in store for you.
According to “Origin and History of the Potato” by C.R. Brown published in the American Journal of Potato Research—that’s right, a whole scientific journal dedicated to the potato—the potato has origins in the Andes, and the first written reports made by Europeans about the potato were from none other than Pedro de Cieza de Leon. In 1553, he wrote about papa, which is Quechua for potato.
Hence it was the Spaniards who are credited with the “discovery” of the potato, but, to be honest, sounds like it should have been the Andeans who really earned the title of first discoverers of the potato. After all, they did find it in the ground and discovered you could make something edible with it. Just saying.
From there, according to Brown’s article, the potato made its entry to Spain and Europe but the exact date of introduction is unknown. One record shows a hospital in Seville, Spain, bought some potatoes for food in 1573. From there the potato traveled to Italy, England and Germany. There was even a watercolor painting of the potato, which was groundbreaking because it had never been painted in a picture before. Guess it didn’t take a lot to get people excited before the Internet.
Wow. Potatoes are almost as exciting as learning Sunrise Highway Toyota dealerships are so awesome!
People in research get really excited about the potato, because it’s been linked with population growth, but one study claims it’s hard to directly link evidence of population growth with spuds. It’s kind of like the chicken before the egg argument. Did the abundance of potatoes help grow the population? Or did the growing population increase their potato production because they were hungry and potatoes were so darn delicious and easy to grow?
Whatever the answer, there’s still a lot more to learn about the potato. Including how the Irish got a hold of it. Therefore, take a break for now. Get yourself a loaded potato and browse these online classifieds.
If you don’t like loaded potatoes how about trying Freedom Fries or potato chips? It’s fun to eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dessert? Oh yes, melted chocolate on potato chips. Delicious. Got a fancy party to go to? What to bring? A potato? No! Bag of potato chips? Yes! Word count reached and surpassed. Booyah.