Who doesn’t love the good, old reliable potato? Cooking with potatoes is common among many households, but how much do you really know about them?
Not only is it relatively inexpensive, but there are literally so many ways to prepare it, from sweet to savory.
Potatoes are almost as American as apple pie, except they aren’t actually American at all.
In fact, there are many facts that people don’t understand or know about potatoes that are actually pretty interesting and important, and that knowledge can actually help in knowing how to pick the right ones out, what kind of storage they require, and how to eat them.
Here are five delicious and important facts you might want to know before getting your next spud.
Potatoes are alive
Ever seen an old potato that had what looked like vines coming out of it? That’s because the potatoes are clones of the original seed they came from, so if you were to plant a potato it would actually begin to sprout and grow into a potato plant,
This is why knowledge of potato storage is important because not storing your potatoes in a cool, dry place could result in some unwanted sprouting.
Potatoes are American, South American that is
It might surprise many people to know that Idaho is not the birthplace of potatoes. In fact, the United States isn’t even the country the produces the largest amount of potatoes, it’s actually China.
The Incas, the Native population of the country of Peru, were the first to cultivate potatoes around 5,000 B.C. How they ended up in Europe and then the United States were the Conquistadors of Spain took them back to their country, and from there they went to all of Europe including England, which led them here.
Idaho is still the birthplace of the Russet Potatoes, which eventually became one of the most popular potatoes we eat today.
Don’t eat green potatoes
Although there are many colorful varieties of potatoes that are delicious and good to eat, green potatoes are not included.
When potatoes aren’t stored correctly or exposed to sunlight they can turn green due to photosynthesis, a normal and important occurrence for all plants, but in this case, it actually makes the potatoes inedible. Correct potato storage can be the difference between a yummy potato and a poisonous one.
Potatoes are a staple for a reason
The USDA claims a diet of whole milk and potatoes would supply almost all of the food elements necessary for the maintenance of the human body. Talk about a power food!
Not to mention the fact that it’s 99% fat-free. This is probably why potatoes are the world’s fourth food staple, after wheat, corn, and rice.
A potato a day keeps the doctor away
Potatoes are awesome for many reasons as you can see above, but did you know that potatoes actually have more vitamin C than an orange?
It also has more potassium than a banana and more fiber than an apple. That’s healthy!