”Without the potato, the balance of European power might never have tilted north.”
~ Michael Pollan
Potato chips, hash-browns, baked potatoes, home fries, mashed potatoes, tater skins. These are just some of the incredibly delicious things you can make with potatoes. The potato is an unusual little tuber that has played an important role in the history of the world and was, in fact, the primary food crop for an entire nation. Potato Day celebrates this wonderful tuber and all the things you can use it for. What’s your favorite potato treat?
History of Potato Day
Potatoes were first cultivated by man in Southern Peru and the Northwest regions of Bolivia sometime between 5000 and 8000 BC. From that point forward it has spread all over the globe to become one of the primary staple crops of many cultures. Potatoes are a favorite part of American cuisine, with millions of different forms of preparation to be found. Potatoes are even used to make bread, rolls, and pancakes, and as such can be found in every meal of the day.
For a time Ireland was so reliant on the potato as a food crop that a potato plague managed to starve the entire country. Make no mistake, there was plenty of food being grown in Ireland at the time, 5 ships full a day were being sailed out of the country, but the people of Ireland were being drained dry by the English who ruled them that potatoes and cabbage were all they had to live on.
The Russians, on the other hand, discovered quite a different use for the potato. Are you a fan of vodka? Good news! Good Russian Vodka is actually a distillation of potato, and the name vodka means “Little Water”, a clear indicator of its importance in Russia.
How to Celebrate Potato Day
Potato Day is best celebrated by incorporating the noble potato into every dish you prepare. For breakfast, you can’t beat hash browns seasoned with salt and pepper and drowned in sausage gravy and cheese. Lunch should always be accompanied by a bag of potato chips, especially if you spread them across your sandwich to give it a nice salty crunch. Dinner time isn’t complete unless you have a baked potato, or our personal favorite, mashed potatoes with garlic, onion, and cheddar cheese mixed in. It may be nothing more than a simple tuber, but Potato Day gives it a moment to shine!