Potatoes: What You Should Know

The potato is a plant distantly related to the tomato, pepper, and tobacco. The potato is also called Erdapfel in some areas. The word potato goes back to a Latin expression that means tuber.

The actual plant is green and slightly poisonous. You can’t eat the fruit either. What you eat are tubers that grow in the ground. The tuber consists mainly of water and starch. Starch is one of the carbohydrates like sugar or many parts of the grain.

The potato comes from the Andes, a mountain range in South America. They were already cultivated by the Incas. Later, Spanish explorers got to know the plant. Around the year 1570, she seems to have come to Spain for the first time. Over time, they were also cultivated in other countries in Europe and the world. There are many stories as to who exactly brought the potatoes to Europe. In fact, you don’t know.

Many people had enough to eat thanks to the potato. But when the potato plants fell ill, for example in Ireland around 1850, many starved to death. Today, people around the world cultivate large areas of land with potatoes, especially in Europe and Asia. Austria would fit into these areas twice. A German eats an average of around 50 kilograms of potatoes a year, i.e. around one kilogram every week.

Potatoes can only be kept for one winter at most. Later they become lazy. So you can’t stock up on them as you can with grain. Potatoes are boiled before they are eaten. However, boiled potatoes are often not eaten at all. The industry processes potatoes into french fries, chips, or other products.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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