• The potato originated in the Andes of Bolivia and Peru. It was there, in 1537 that the Spanish conquistadors discovered the potato. Peru’s Inca Indians first cultivated the potato in about 200 B.C. The ancient Inca Indians valued the potato not only as a food, but as a measure of time. Units of time were correlated to how long it took a potato to cook. •
The Potato Museum is located in Washington D.C. contains over 2,000 potato artifacts, including antique harvesting tools, a 1893 potato flask (a mold for making ice cream potatoes), potato ties and a 1903 Parker Brothers game called “The Potato Race.”
• Potatoes are definitely America’s favorite vegetable. Every year we consume about 110 pounds of potatoes per person? Europeans have us beat, though. They consume twice as many spuds as Americans.
• The potato chip was invented in 1853 and has been America’s number one snack food for more than 50 years. In two hours, a factory can make 7,000 pounds of potato chips
• During the 18th century, potatoes were served as a dessert, hot and salted, in a napkin.
•While ambassador to France, Benjamin Franklin attended a banquet where the fare was nothing but potatoes, prepared in 20 different ways.
• Thomas Jefferson gets the credit for introducing French fries to America when he served them at a White House dinner.
• The United States Potato Chip industry employs around 60,000 people. • The most popular US Potato Chip flavours are Regular, Barbecue and Sour Cream and Onion.
• Folklore abounds about the potato. A peeled potato in the pocket was assumed to cure a toothache and a dried potato worn around the neck would help rheumatism. Vincent Van Gogh painted four still-life canvases devoted entirely to the potato.