Top 10 Interesting Facts about Potato
Updated: Aug 28, 2022
Undoubtedly, the whole world loves potatoes. This lofty crop takes many forms and shapes until it reaches your stomach. This humble potato has helped many empires to be wealthy with its sweetness whereas it crippled Ireland when a nasty fungus started to grow on this vulnerable potato.
Eat potatoes as French Fries or American Uncle Sam Potato chips or mix squishy boiled potato with Indian Biryani, Potato is everywhere. Spring potato is a highly popular roadside snack in south Asia. Potatoes in Hindi and Marathi are called “Aloo”. Of wide varieties, the Chinese potato is more popular in India than in china. Potatoes are food for all as potato prices remain normal most of the time.
So, Here we have brought you some Interesting facts about potatoes that perhaps you may not know about.
1) Potatoes were the first vegetable to be grown in Space.
NASA and the University of Wisconsin jointly conducted a mutual project to study plant growth in space. One batch of potato clipping was prepared, half of which was sent to space aboard the Columbia Space Shuttle. Half were grown on earth to study the fundamental difference between space-grown potatoes and earth-grown potatoes. Interestingly there wasn’t much visible difference between both potato specimens.
2) Potatoes find their origin in South America.
Considering Ireland as a source of potatoes is a big misconception. Though Ireland was involved in bringing a potato to the limelight it’s far from its actual origin. The potato was a wild plant that was domesticated by northwestern Bolivia and the south of Peru. The potato was exposed to the world after Spain’s conquest of America in the 1600s.
3) Overall there are around 4000 different types of potatoes.
Yes, there are around 4000 types of potatoes if we include noncommercial and non-edible varieties too. Different varieties are found in the different continents including that of South America, the same as it was brought in 1600. Not all the regions have all varieties but a handful is usable.
4) Different potatoes are used for different dishes.
Nobody knows all varieties of potatoes, what they know is a handful of it so are the uses. Potato varies on the amount of starch it possesses. Potatoes with a higher percentage of starch, for example, Russet are a better choice for making French fries or baking in the oven. Low-starch potatoes are suitable for eating whole in salads or stews. If you are in doubt use Yukon Gold which is a multipurpose potato that can be used for mashing, frying, boiling, and roasting.
5) Potato and Tobacco are cousins as they belong to the same family.
Well, that is the fact. It’s a bit odd to hear that this humble potato belongs to the family of tobacco which is dangerous to health. The Solanaceae Family which accommodates tobacco and potato is huge and includes so many species that we don’t know they are related. Tomato and eggplants too are related to potatoes.
6) Greenish potatoes produced a neurotoxin called Solanine.
When potatoes get exposed to sunlight more than necessary it starts to create chlorophyll (a green chemical that plants use to create food). As a defence mechanism and to avoid getting eaten by hungry animals potatoes produced Solanine neurotoxin. It’s not that it will kill us directly but if eaten may create nausea and headache or some more health troubles.
7) Potatoes can be stored for about a year under the right conditions.
True, but not in the home. We need high-grade equipment and a commercial warehouse to achieve this lengthy lifespan. It needed to be stored at constant 4 degrees Celsius. First potatoes are dried properly to avoid rotting and cooled down slowly to seal any cuts. When the time comes potatoes are slowly brought back to room temperature.
8) The Incas used a potato to cure some ailments.
The potatoes were used to treat tooth ailments and rub peels on muscles and bone.
9) Potatoes and Sweet potatoes are not related.
This is as odd as hearing that potatoes belong to the tobacco family. The same name doesn’t necessarily mean the same family. Along with the name, the only similarity they have is that starchy vegetables are grown under the ground. Sweet potato belongs to the Convolvulaceae family whereas potato belongs to the Solanaceae Family.
10) Potatoes have existed since 5000 BC.
As said earlier, Potatoes were first cultivated in South Bolivia and Peru around 8000 to 5000 BC but evidence of existence came quite later. Archaeological evidence has gathered potato tubers from 4500 BC.
So enjoy these amazing facts about potatoes by consuming potatoes as fries, chips or salad or whatever form you like.
To buy some traditional Indian Snacks visit: Foodopiya.com