Potatoes, Versatile and Nutritious

Mon, Mar 15, 2010


Potatoes, Versatile and Nutritious

St. Patrick’s day is almost here and what food symbolizes Ireland better than potatoes? These starchy root vegetables are one of the first things that come to mind when you think about Irish foods but that’s not because they originate there!

Potatoes come from the Americas, South America in fact, and specifically the southern region of Peru. They have been cultivated for food from anywhere between 2000BC to 8000BC depending on its location. The wild potato species grow from Peru all the way up into the United States. Spain brought potatoes along with corn over to Europe in 1536. In the 15th century, potatoes finally made it to western Ireland. The potato became popular in Ireland due to the ability to grow abundantly in a mild climate as well as being nutritious. The milk of one cow and one acre of potatoes was enough to feed an Irish family for relatively cheap.

Nutritiously, potatoes contain many vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and B6 and minerals potassium, thiamin, folate, iron, zinc and many others. The skin of a medium-sized potato alone carries 2 grams of fiber, which is the same amount as many whole grain pastas and breads.

Do not eat the potato plant (leaves and stems) as they are toxic, however the tuber (root) portion is safe to eat unless there is green on it. If you find green on a potato, don’t eat it. Cut the green part away and you’ll be fine. The green spots found on potatoes is caused by light. It’s not likely to cause serious harm, but can taste bad as well as cause discomfort when digesting.

If you’re looking for different ways to prepare potatoes you’ll likely find more than you could ever dream of. Potatoes can be used to make alcoholic drinks such as vodka, Poitin (a traditional Irish alcoholic beverage), or Akvavit. The starch from potatoes are used to thicken and bind soups and sauces. They are even used in making adhesives, paper and boards.

The potato is nutritious, versatile and has been around since before most civilizations.  Potatoes are great for making simple hearty food as well as more complex and light fare. For the upcoming St. Patrick’s day here’s something to think about when eating your Irish potatoes:

“Only two things in this world are too serious to be jested on, potatoes and matrimony.”
Irish saying.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Blogplay

Related post

, , , , , , , , , , ,

This post was written by:

Rochelle - who has written 324 posts on Made in Kitchen Blog.

Contact the author

Leave a Reply