Copyright © 2015 Jason Romanenko

Potato

The word potato is known primarily as a South American plant widely grown for food in temperate regions. It is a starchy plant or tuber, which is a much thickened underground part of a stem, and a continuously growing horizontal underground stem with lateral shoots which naturally occur by chance at intervals along the stem. The potato is certainly one of the most important food crops and is cooked or eaten as a vegetable. It is believed by some to be part of the nightshade family.

Off the top of my head there are quite a variety of plant types with slightly different characteristics such as red, white, new, king Edwards and even sweet. There is also a potato-spirit drink that is particularly well liked in Russia, although most people may already know that vodka is made from potatoes. It is suggested that fresh potatoes are consumed in a much larger quantity than any vodka appreciation to maintain a healthy gut and to prevent side effects of alcohol abuse.

The potato was urbanized and introduced to Europe in the early eighteenth century at approximately the same time that the German ‘Le Blon’ invented three colour printing in 1710 and when English inventor, Henry Mill patented the typewriter in 1714. It is highly probable that even Mozart had a potato or two.

The only clue as to the etymology of this word comes from the Spanish ; ‘patatas’


Large potato picture of potatoes