It Started With A Potato!

@Morleyhunt (15942)
Canada
April 16, 2016 4:55am CST
Last night while we were relaxing with a glass of wine before bed, somehow the potato became a subject for discussion. In Dutch a potato is called an 'aard appel', in French it is called a 'pomme de terre.' So why do we call it a potato? Hello Google! We have a question. This turned into one of those educational evenings. Some more random trivia to add to my store of knowledge. Potato, comes from the Spanish 'patata' and as we learned some of the potatoes history that made perfect sense. Potatoes originated in the Andes mountains of South America in the area of Peru/Bolivia. Who knew? Sixteenth century Europeans were very suspicious of this tuber, brought back from the new World. It obviously caught on once they were over their distrust. There are over 5000 varieties of potatoes, with some 3000 of them grown in the Andes. I wonder what random fact will cause us hours of entertainment the next time a words piques our curiosity.
19 people like this
17 responses
@owlwings (38062)
• Cambridge, England
16 Apr 16
Although our potato originally came from a variety grown in the Andes (Peru and Bolivia), most of the potatoes currently grown derive from a lowland variety which came from Chile. The first plant to be called 'potato' was, apparently, a sweet potato - the original word 'batata' meant a sweet potato - which is a relative of the convolvulus or woodbine, and the 'new' tuber from South America was sometimes called the 'false potato' (actually a word beginning with 'b' which I'm not allowed to use here!). The word 'spud' (which, I gather, is not used much in America) comes from the name of the implement which was used to plant the tubers - a short, dagger-like blade - which also gives us the word 'spade'. It seems that nobody really knew what to call this new thing. The Spanish (and then the English and other nations) called it by the name for another vegetable and the French and Dutch decided that it was more like an apple that grew underground!
5 people like this
@Morleyhunt (15942)
• Canada
16 Apr 16
Thank you for expanding the discussion. These were all facts I encountered as we researched the humble potato.
2 people like this
@Asylum (46767)
• Manchester, England
16 Apr 16
I would have presumed that the name originated from Spanish since it is accredited to Walter Raleigh as having introduced it into England.
3 people like this
@Morleyhunt (15942)
• Canada
16 Apr 16
@Asylum when we speculated where the potato came from before googling it. We had several interesting suggestions. None were even close.
@JolietJake (39527)
16 Apr 16
I like patatas. Wait...maybe that's just 'Tata's'
2 people like this
@Morleyhunt (15942)
• Canada
16 Apr 16
Ah, but did you know any of these random facts?
1 person likes this
@JolietJake (39527)
16 Apr 16
@Morleyhunt I did after I read your discussion
1 person likes this
@epiffanie (8345)
• Australia
16 Apr 16
wow! 5000 varieties? who would have thought .. I probably only know less than ten varieties .. thanks for sharing that info about the humble potato ..
1 person likes this
@Morleyhunt (15942)
• Canada
16 Apr 16
I had no idea that there were so many varieties. It turned into an interesting history lesson.
1 person likes this
@epiffanie (8345)
• Australia
17 Apr 16
@Morleyhunt I wonder if those include the many different varieties of sweet potatoes ..
@Morleyhunt (15942)
• Canada
17 Apr 16
@epiffanie I think they do include the sweet potato with the 5000 plus varieties. Even so, that is still a lot of varieties of potato.
1 person likes this
@Lucky15 (33719)
• Philippines
16 Apr 16
That is fun...and educational ;)
1 person likes this
@Morleyhunt (15942)
• Canada
16 Apr 16
And you never know when this random fact might come in handy.
1 person likes this
@Lucky15 (33719)
• Philippines
16 Apr 16
@Morleyhunt indeed ma'am ;)
@BettyB (4290)
• Summerville, South Carolina
16 Apr 16
I like gathering pits and pieces of trivia. I didn't realize there were so many varieties of potatoes.
1 person likes this
@Morleyhunt (15942)
• Canada
16 Apr 16
One of life's little pleasures. Bits of trivia that stay with you. You never know when one of these little bits comes in handy.
@gudheart (12805)
16 Apr 16
Never quite knew the history of potato! I do love to eat them though.
1 person likes this
@Morleyhunt (15942)
• Canada
16 Apr 16
The things we take for granted. I had never given the potato. I have thought. They are a staple in our diet. As a kid I remember picking potato beetles off our garden potatoes and dropping them into soapy water. It was a chore I heartily disliked.
• United States
19 Apr 16
Interesting history of the potato...I love potatoes!!
@Morleyhunt (15942)
• Canada
19 Apr 16
They ar a staple in our house. Today I barbecued some potatoes, yesterday we had French Fries. tomorrow, your guess is as good as mine, but I'm sure potatoes will be on the menu.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Apr 16
@Morleyhunt we have potatoes just about every night in our house. I love potatoes any which way you can make them
@JudyEv (96294)
• Bunbury, Australia
18 Apr 16
I thought it was fairly unusual to have about four different types in the supermarket but 5000? That is really interesting in itself.
@Morleyhunt (15942)
• Canada
19 Apr 16
Once we started reading about the potato, we found it all very interesting.
1 person likes this
@Telynor (1117)
• United States
17 Apr 16
I remember that when I'd go to the market, there would be just Idaho russets, and maybe reds. Now they come in a huge array of colours and shapes. I haven't tried the purple ones yet, but I intend to.
@Morleyhunt (15942)
• Canada
17 Apr 16
I buy a variety of potatoes. Often it will depend on what variety is on sale. I find that my elderly father finds the yellow fleshed potatoes to be suspect. He likes them to be white.
• United States
16 Apr 16
don'tcha jest love the vast knowledge which lays't ones fingertips? that'd be one'f the good thingies 'bout the net i reckon, that instant access to a buffet 'f info. most interestin' findin's ya got there :)
@Morleyhunt (15942)
• Canada
16 Apr 16
It makes for some interesting discussions at our house. Throw out a statement or a question and see who runs with it.
1 person likes this
@PainsOnSlate (19009)
• Canada
16 Apr 16
Love love looking up things on the internet, So much easier than those old encyclopedias... i had no idea where they were first found...
@Morleyhunt (15942)
• Canada
16 Apr 16
I hadn't known any of those facts. If I had researched with encyclopedia, it probably would have been forgotten before I even arrived at the library.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (57252)
• United States
16 Apr 16
Love potatoes. Thanks for saving us the time!
@Morleyhunt (15942)
• Canada
16 Apr 16
So now you know, the rest of the story.
1 person likes this
@KristenH (19758)
• Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
16 Apr 16
I love potatoes, Morley. This one was an amusing post with a hint of a history lesson. Good to know about this food for thought.
@Morleyhunt (15942)
• Canada
16 Apr 16
The rabbit trails we head down in our household leads to learning a lot of random facts. I found it really interesting. I have always just take. The humble potato for granted.
1 person likes this
@richnonai (501)
• Pattaya, Thailand
16 Apr 16
Here in Thailand we call them "Manfarangs" Of course I have no idea why...man means ??? and farangs mean foreigners.
@Morleyhunt (15942)
• Canada
16 Apr 16
Maybe because potatoes were aw foreign introduced food?
1 person likes this
@UncleJoe (8066)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
19 Apr 16
While researching all kinds of veggies that might reduce cholesterol a few years ago, I was surprised at so many facts uncovered about how once indigenous veggies are now world wide. Tomatoes originated in the Andes as well but up until about 150 years ago they were thought to be poisonous. Not to mention corn. The original "maize" was just a fraction of the size we see today.
@Susan2015 (18267)
• United States
16 Apr 16
Didn't know there were so many different kinds of potatoes.
@LadyDuck (118120)
• Switzerland
16 Apr 16
It seems that originally they were blue in color when cooked. When they were imported to Europe, this made people think that they were not good for human consumption.