Whether you prepare au gratin potatoes or a baked potato pie for dinner, the deliciousness of our beloved potato is never to be questioned. But, hey, did you know there are some really fun facts that even potato lovers should know? I bet not. Check out some here:
- There are thousands of potato species: Over 4000 potato species exist. From there, most people get to eat less than 5 in their lifetime. These varieties are found all over the world, with some growing only in specific places. The number of ways you can creatively explore recipes just increased.
- Space potato? Anyone?: Your favorite carbohydrate food has got galactic repute! The book The Martian might be fiction, but yes, a potato has been grown in space. The spacecraft Columbia ferried astronauts with special potato samples for growing. They did this successfully, and I am sure the Martians were surprised. Now imagine growing and having some au gratin potatoes meal on Mars. Sweet, right?
- Potatoes are vegetables: Oh wait, you never imagined vegetables could be tubers? This beautiful crop is a complete vegetable and non-cereal plant. Many people confuse potato with another tuber vegetable, yam, and sometimes use their names interchangeably. When next you think of a vegetable soup, try potato soup, yeah?
- The most popular potato is the Russet variety: Russets are the most common variety around the world. Crispy outside and juicy inside, this variety can be eaten with the skin if properly cooked. It is the choice potato for making potato pies and soups.
- Potatoes were once worth more than gold: In the late 1800s, the scourge of scurvy was raging, and people needed a source of Vitamin C. Guess what? Your favorite vegetable came to the rescue but at a cost. The Alaskan Klondike potato was so valuable that people traded it for gold coins. Imagine paying several gold coins for a meal of au gratin potatoes.
- National day celebrations: Of course, an official recognition had to be given to potatoes, and that is why August 19 and October 27 are declared national potato days.
- Lack of potatoes nearly finished a nation: The Irish are known to love potatoes; almost everyone from Ireland eats a potato daily. However, a viral attack on potatoes centuries ago nearly crippled the country with severe scarcity of food. But thankfully, today, the country has more than enough potatoes.