A little bit about potatoes

Whether you call them potatoes, taters, spuds, knishes or murphys, potatoes are delicious and can be cooked in uncountable different recipes.

Lots and lots of people around the world grew up eating potatoes, and there are over 4,000 different varieties worldwide! South Americans grew potatoes first, probably in Peru, and they went from finding them in the wild to farming them about 7,000–10,000 years ago. When Europeans invaded, they took potatoes home to Europe with them, where they grew in popularity and are now grown and eaten in almost every country worldwide.

Potatoes grow underground as part of the roots of the plant and are called tubers. You have to dig them up and wash them off before you can cook and eat them. Raw potatoes are hard for humans to digest and will give you a brute of a tummy ache if you try it.

Potatoes are packed with vitamins and minerals, contains very little fat, and come in an amazing variety of colors. Usually we see Russet potatoes, famously grown in Idaho, but also grown all over the USA, cooked into fries. They are tasty, but not the healthiest way you can cook a potato. Baking, roasting, or boiling potatoes are all methods that add very little fat, and can be seasoned with herbs and spices rather than just salt to make sure everyone in the family can enjoy them. (Sweet potatoes and yams are an entirely different plant from what we ususally consider a “potato” and we will learn more about them later.)

How did your ancestors eat potatoes? Were they mashed, boiled, or maybe added to a curry?

Peru is famous for growing the highest number of different kinds of potatoes, nearly 3,000 types! They grow them near the ocean and high in the Andes mountains in as many colors as you can think of. Maybe Captain Create will go to Peru for a visit!

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