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
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: http://www.FavoriteRecipes.biz/america.html
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.