The role and importance of potato in history

Potato Wine Potato Varieties Potato! It is an austere region plagued by fluctuating temperatures and poor soil conditions. Yet the tough and durable potato evolved in its thin air elevations up to 15, feetclimbing ever higher like the people who first settled the region. The tough pre-Columbian farmers first discovered and cultivated the potato some 7, years ago.

The role and importance of potato in history

In Spanish Conquistadors conquered Peru, discovered the flavors of the potato, and carried them to Europe. Before the end of the sixteenth century, families of Basque sailors began to cultivate potatoes along the Biscay coast of northern Spain.

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Sir Walter Raleigh introduced potatoes to Ireland in on the 40, acres of land near Cork. It took nearly four decades for the potato to spread to the rest of Europe. Eventually, agriculturalists in Europe found potatoes easier to grow and cultivate than other staple crops, such as wheat and oats. Most importantly, it became known that potatoes contained most of the vitamins needed for sustenance, and they could be provided to nearly 10 people for each acre of land cultivated.

In the s a major outbreak of potato blight, a plant disease, swept through Europe, wiping out the potato crop in many countries. The Irish working class lived largely on potatoes and when the blight reached Ireland, their main staple food disappeared. This famine left many poverty-stricken families with no choice but to struggle to survive or emigrate out of Ireland.

Over the course of the famine, almost one million people died from starvation or disease. Another one million people left Ireland, mostly for Canada and the United States. From there, the crop spread across the country. Idaho, the present-day largest producer of potatoes, actually did not begin growing potatoes untilwhen missionaries moved west in an effort to teach the native tribes to grow crops instead of relying upon hunting and gathering methods.

Parmentier created a feast with only potato dishes, a concept he realized was possible when he was imprisoned in Germany and fed only potatoes.

During the Alaskan Klondike gold rush, potatoes were practically worth their weight in gold. Potatoes were valued for their vitamin C.

And gold, at that time, was more plentiful than nutritious foods! In Octoberthe potato became the first vegetable to be grown in space. NASA and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, created the technology with the goal of feeding astronauts on long space voyages, and eventually, feeding future space colonies.

In railroad magnate Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt complained that his potatoes were cut too thick and sent them back to the kitchen at a fashionable resort in Saratoga Springs, NY. To spite his haughty guest, Chef George Crum sliced some potatoes paper thin, fried them in hot oil, salted and served them.

The Incas had many uses for potatoes other than dinner: Placed raw slices on broken bones to promote healing Carried them to prevent rheumatism Ate with other foods to prevent indigestion.

Various folk remedies recommend using potatoes: Treat facial blemishes by washing you face daily with cool potato juice. Treat frostbite or sunburn by applying raw grated potato or potato juice to the affected area. Help a toothache by carrying a potato in your pocket.

Ease a sore throat by putting a slice of baked potato in a stocking and tying it around your throat. Ease aches and pains by rubbing the affected area with the water potatoes have been boiled in.Potato! - History.


The history of the potato has its roots in the windswept Andes Mountains of South America. It is an austere region plagued by fluctuating temperatures and poor soil conditions. Jarzabkowski emphasized the importance of preparation in potato consumption.

"The best way to eat a potato is in its whole, unprocessed form," she said. Baking a potato is the best way to prepare it, as baking, or microwaving, a potato causes the lowest amount of nutrients to be lost, she said. History and Importance of the Potato Among Many Cultures Essay; In each of these places, they play their own unique role but the secret to their success is their hardy nature and their nutritional value.

The role and importance of potato in history

They become valuable to some peoples because they are able to grow in geographical locations or in weather situations that would cause. Throughout Europe, the most important new food in the 19th century was the potato, which had three major advantages over other foods for the consumer: its lower rate of spoilage, its bulk (which easily satisfied hunger) and its cheapness.

History Magazine - The Impact of the Potato

Europe’s imperial glory is only a distant memory. But the potato continues to thrive in Ireland and the world as a whole, expanding its consumption empire by the day. Despite the important role the potato was later to play in Irish history, we still don’t know how the potato reached our shores.

The Origin of the Potato The potato was first cultivated in South America between three and seven thousand years ago, though scientists believe they may have grown wild in the region as long as 13, years ago.

History of the potato - Wikipedia