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Potato You Have Been Around!

The potato is a common food source in the Western World. The potato originated in Peru. Spanish conquistadors invaded Peru and not only brought gold back to Spain but the potato. The Irish Famine influenced a huge migration of Irish immigrants to North America. We take the potato for granted but are unaware if its influence in world history. I hope you enjoy this article.

The potato originated in the Andes Mountains of South America. The Peruvian mountainous terrain was too cold for wheat or corn but potatoes thrived. The Andean natives not only used potatoes for food but for medicinal purposes. Andean’s worshipped potato gods and had ritual celebrations for successful potato harvests.

In the 1500’s Spanish explorers invaded South America. They were in search of gold and new lands. The Inca people were enslaved and forced to work the silver mines in Bolivia. The potato became a common food source for the slaves and for Spanish sailors. The Spanish conquistadors brought gold back to Spain but they also brought the potatoes.

The potato is a member of the nightshade family. The leaves are poisonous. If left in sunlight too long potatoes will turn light green. Green potatoes are bitter to the taste and can cause illness in humans.

During the 1500’s Ireland was war torn. There were constant wars between the English rulers, local nobles and Irish inhabitants. Because of the constant conflicts Ireland’s peasant farmers were not able to grow enough food.  In this war-torn country the potato was introduced in approximately 1663. The potato found a perfect growing climate in Ireland. The people of Ireland adopted the rugged plant. The potato could be produced in abundance and was adopted as a daily staple. It became a national food with the popular name given “Irish Potato”. In peaceful time it grew in abundance. During war when farms were destroyed potatoes could be buried underground.

In 1845 disaster struck Ireland.  The fungus Phytophthora infestans destroyed potato plants in Ireland. The Irish Potato Famine struck Ireland. Potato crops were destroyed in  1845, 1846 and again in 1848. The Irish were left with no source of income and nothing to eat. Some Irish starved to death. Approximately, one million people died.  Those that could afford to left Ireland for America and Canada. Ships carrying Irish immigrants to America were known as “coffin ships”. The ships were over crowded and unsanitary.

The potato did not gain prominence in Europe until 1780’s.  The European had other food sources and the potato was considered for the underclass. Eventually, the potato gained acceptance and made its way to North America. Today the potato is a common vegetable in the Western diet. We baked, fried, mashed and etc potatoes.

Everyone Eats Potatoes

Recipes from the 2009 Inaugural Luncheon


First Course:

Seafood Stew
Yield: 10 servings

6 (1 Lb) Maine lobsters
20 medium size Sea scallops
36 Large shrimp, peel, cleaned and tail removed, aprox. 2 lbs.
10 (1 oz) pieces of black cod
½ cup small dice carrots
½ cup small dice celery
½ cup small dice leek
½ cup small dice Idaho potato
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper or black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 quart heavy cream
1 cup dry vermouth (can be made without)
10 (5 inch) puff pastry rounds

10 (3 ½ inch) terrines/ramekins or serving dish of your choice

1. Bring 1 gallon of water to a boil; poach lobsters, then shrimp, then black cod and last scallops. After seafood is cooked, remove from water; reserve water and bring to boil.

2. Cook all vegetables in liquid that was used for the seafood, remove vegetables when tender. Allow the liquid to continue to boil until only 1qt of liquid remains. This will be the base for the sauce.

3. Bring seafood liquid back to a boil and add the vermouth and heavy cream and reduce by half, season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg to taste. You have reached your desired thickness when the sauce will cover the back of a wooden spoon. Set aside to cool.

4. Cut Maine lobster, shrimp and scallops into bite size pieces.

5. Pre-heat oven at 400 degrees.

6. Fold seafood and vegetables into cool sauce, being careful not to mix too much as this will break up the seafood. Scoop mixture into terrines or oven proof baking dish of your choice.

7. Cover terrines with puff pastry rounds, brush them with egg wash and bake them until golden brown about 8-10 minutes, allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. You can cook this 2-3 hours ahead of time and keep warm at 150 F degrees.

*All seafood can be substituted with other favorite options of your choice and availability.

Source: Buffalo News, Jan 13thFree Articles, 2009

Supplied: America’s Secret Recipes (Newsletter)


The Inaugural Luncheon Recipe Menu is from America’s Secret Recipes newsletter. Featuring  clone recipes. For hundred of America’s Secret Recipes and World Famous 5 Star Restaurant Secrets   visit:

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Like most people I am a multi-tasker. I am a wife, mom and businesswoman. Recently, I have been researching foods, ingredients and recipes. Different cultures have influenced our daily menus. I have a collection of favorite cookbooks. The cookbooks vary from copycat restaurant recipes, pizza secrets, authentic Chinese cooking, the Mediterranean Diet to specialty diets. We all have to eat. Why not learn to cook varied healthy meals. Hope you enjoy my article. I really enjoy writing them.

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