Potatoes are a staple crop in Ireland, but they originated in the Andean mountain region of South America. Spanish explorers “discovered” the potatoes and brought them to Europe in the early 16th century. Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, so they were used on Spanish ships to prevent scurvy. Currently, the main producers of potatoes include the Russian Federation, Poland, Ireland, China and the United States. The potato’s scientific name is Solanum tuberosum. Solanum is from a Latin word which means “soothing”.
The potato belongs to the Solonaceae or nightshade family. The other members of the nightshade family are tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and tomatillos. There are different kinds of potatoes for different uses. Examples of the kinds of potatoes are the Nadine potatoes and the Wilja potatoes. The potatoes I usually see are New Potatoes and Wilja potatoes. Even though they are different kinds of potatoes, all of them are rich in vitamin C, folate, magnesium, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, iron, and fiber!
When you are choosing potatoes, they should be firm, well-shaped, relatively smooth, and should be free of decay. You should store potatoes in the dark and dry place between 45 degree to 50 degree Fahrenheit. They shouldn’t be stored in the refrigerator and they shouldn’t be near onions. Why? The gases that they each emit will cause degradation of one another.
There are different ways to cook potatoes, too! The most common dishes are mashed potatoes and baked potatoes, which are my favorite. You can boil, mash, roast, and fry them. There are many other potato dishes, but I think these are what most people enjoy eating.
Like other people, I think potatoes are a comfort food. Plus, it is easy to cook and eat. It may take a long time to cook, but it is worth it! Not only is the taste great, but it also gives you a great dose of vitamin C and other nutrients!
|This is the potato dish, Mashed Potato Boat, I created.