Potatoes

There are a lot of interesting facts about potatoes.

Here are only the top 15:

It is well known that potatoes belong to the family of Nightshades (lat. Solanum tuberosum), but few people know about his "brotherhood" with such crops as tomato, eggplant, nightshade, tobacco. The relationship is clearly visible on the same type of inflorescence and structure of the stem.
Potatoes are poisonous. Potato plants are able to accumulate a powerful toxin – solanine. First of all, the berries are poisonous (even a few pieces can cause severe poisoning), but the tubers are not always safe, under the influence of sunlight they also accumulate solanine, which is clearly visible in the characteristic green color of the crust.
The historical homeland of potatoes is South America, the Indians of Peru successfully cultivated it 4000 years ago, while they not only introduced the plant to the culture, but also brought more than a hundred different varieties. At the end of the sixteenth century, thanks to the efforts of the Neronym cordana, the potato got to Europe, but it was not widely spread, for almost two hundred years the plant was covered with an aura of mystique and was considered not suitable for eating. Agronomists of that time used a variety of tricks and tricks to make Europeans at least try the mysterious tubers.
In North America, the potatoes came from Bermuda only in the early seventeenth century, as a gift to the Governor of Virginia.
We all know that in Russia, the potatoes were introduced by Peter I, but not everything is smooth. The king sent the potatoes to the governors for cultivation, but the grown green berries were not edible, and the plant was long forgotten, continued the introduction of "earth Apple" in the food culture of Catherine II. For more than a hundred years, farmers were afraid to eat potatoes, the world was full of rumors about the dark origin of tubers, their consumption was considered a great sin, and only the obvious economic benefit made the Russian people forget about turnips and move to "overseas miracle".
There are many varieties of potatoes that differ in taste, shape, size, color, starch and chemical content. Everyone is accustomed to white and yellow potatoes, but there are varieties of red (with a high content of anthocyanins), black (due to the content of manganese and other trace elements) and even blue colors. Bred frost-resistant varieties that can withstand temperatures down to -10°C, as well as varieties that are not damaged by the Colorado potato beetle.
There are forms of potatoes living on trees. Like orchids, these epiphytes take root in hollows, crevices, or bark. Tubers can simply hang from the branches. In addition, in the tropics there is a potato tree (Solanum wrightii Benth), it reaches 15 meters in height, blooms throughout the year, but does not form tubers, and berries are not suitable for food.
Potatoes contain more than 80% water, but it is also rich in vitamins and minerals. In particular, potatoes contain a lot of provitamin A, necessary to maintain vision.
Today, the price of potatoes is not high, but a kilogram of the most expensive potatoes in the world will not be so cheap. Variety "La Bonnotte" is grown by hand on the French coast and valued at 500 euros per kilogram. In times of gold rush potato tubers were saved from scurvy, and gold was more valuable in prospectors ' circles.
In different countries there are monuments to potatoes, for example, in Minsk, Besecure (Poland), Marinski. In the Ukrainian town of Korosten erected a monument to potato draniki. In the Belgian city of Bruges, there is a Museum dedicated to the history of the world's travels of potatoes and the most diverse ways of its preparation. Another Museum is located in the city of Blackfoot (Idaho, USA), and shows the history of the emergence and development of the potato industry.
French fries appeared thanks to American President Thomas Jefferson, who first served his guests an unusual dish. The story of potato chips is even more interesting – a dissatisfied customer of one of the American restaurants returned the chef fried potatoes saying that it is cut too sloppy and thick. Offended the chef cooked a new batch, cut the tuber so subtly as he could. The result exceeded all expectations!
Potatoes sung in poems and poems by Z. Alexandrov, I. Demyanov and others, songs Vysotsky, Popov, Lviv. Vincent van Gogh is known for paintings depicting potatoes, the most famous of which is considered to be "potato Consumers".
Amaze records of potatoes. The largest tuber was grown by a Lebanese farmer, and weighed more than 11 kilograms. German record holder Linda Thomsen in ten minutes cleaned more than ten pounds of potatoes, and Petu Bertoletti at the world Cup for the same period of time was able to eat almost six pounds.
In world agriculture, potatoes are recognized as the most important non-cereal crops. In the overall ranking it is second only to wheat, rice and corn.
Due to the unique compatibility with other products and a variety of methods of processing of potatoes, you can prepare more than two thousand first, second courses, and even desserts.