Facts about Potatoes
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Article: Facts about potatoes
resources: wikipedia - thefreedictionary - potato information & exchange
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  • A well known painting by Vincent Van Gogh is entitled The Potato Eaters. 
  • Idaho produces more potatoes than any other state, followed by Maine, California, Washington, New York, North Dakota, Minnesota, Oregon and Wisconsin. 
  • The potato chip was invented in 1853 by an American Indian chef in a restaurant in Saratoga, N.Y. 
  • Potato chips were invented by mistake. The year was 1853, and Railroad Magnate Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt was dining at a fashionable resort in Saratoga Springs, New York. He sent his fried potatoes back to the kitchen complaining they were too thick. To spite his haughty guest, Chef George Crum sliced some potatoes paper thin, fried them in hot oil, and salted them. To everyone's surprise, Vanderbilt loved his "Saratoga Crunch Chips", and potato chips have been popular ever since.
  • It reputedly took seven transatlantic crossings before the potato gained acceptance in America. In fact, the potato did not really become popular until discovered by Benjamin Franklin. While ambassador to France, he attended a banquet hosted by Parmentier at which the potato was served 20 different ways. Franklin returned to America singing the praises of the potato as the ultimate vegetable. Americans followed the lead of trendsetting Franklin, and soon the potato was being cultivated in the colonies and in remote regions of the western frontier.
  • French fries were introduced to Americans when President Thomas Jefferson served them at the White House.
  • February is traditionally designated as "Potato Lover's Month?" 
  •  Ore-Ida begin making "Tator Tots" in 1954.
  • The average American eats 132.7 pounds of potatoes a year, or over 365 potatoes per person per year - that's an average of more than one potato a day.
  • The potato is the second most consumed food in the United States - trailing only after milk products.
  • North Eastern Tasmania is the growing capital of Australia.
  • Potatoes are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. One medium sized potato has fewer calories than a grapefruit, more potassium than a banana, and more usable iron than any other vegetable. Potatoes are also high in fiber, and loaded with complex carbohydrates. And best of all, potatoes are fat-free.
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Handling/Storage Information -
To ensure that you have a good potato that will store for a couple of weeks:

  • Beware of choosing potatoes that are soft to the touch or have excessive cuts, cracks, bruises, discoloration or decay. Potatoes with a green cast to their skin color have been over-exposed to light; this can cause a somewhat bitter taste. Cut away the green portion before cooking. 
  • Store potatoes in a cool (40F to 50F), dry, dark place to protect the potato from light exposure and to inhibit quick sprouts from growing. If your potatoes do begin to sprout, or grow, cut off the sprouts and prepare the potato and enjoy. 
  • Do not store potatoes in the refrigerator; at less than 40F, potato starches convert to sugars. This changes the taste of potatoes and causes the flesh to darken when cooked. 
  • Once you have cooked your potatoes, be sure to refrigerate any leftovers to prevent them from going bad. 
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Potato Varieties

Russets
The most widely used potato variety in the USA, a large majority grown in the
 Northwest. High-starch russets have netted brown skin and white flesh that 
turns fluffy when cooked. 
  • Available year-round. 
  • All-purpose potatoes: for baking, roasting, mashing and frying. 
  • Some major varieties: Burbank Centennial, Norgold, Norkotah, Ranger

Round Whites
Grown and used most often in the Eastern U.S. Round whites have a smooth, 
light tan skin and waxy, firm texture. 
  • Available year-round. 
  • Holds shape after cooking, making them ideal for salads, roasted, 
          mashed and steamed preparations.  
  • Some major varieties: Katahdin, Superior, Chippewa, Sebago, Irish Cobbler.

Long Whites
Primarily grown in California. Long whites are medium starch potatoes with an 
oval shape and thin, light tan skin. Firm, waxy texture. 
  • Available from spring through summer. 
  • Great for boiling, salads, stews, soups, roasting and scalloped dishes.  Some major varieties: White Rose, Kennebec and Sebago. Long Whites are grown only in California and Arizona.

Round Reds
Rosy red skin with white flesh. Although they are often referred to as "New Potatoes" technically "new" refers to all potato varieties that are prematurely harvested. 
  • Available mostly in late summer and early fall. 
  • Their firm, waxy texture lends well to potato salads, roasting, boiling and frying.  
  • Some major varieties: La Rouge, Red La Soda, Red Pontiac, Norland.

Yellow Flesh Potatoes
Very popular in Europe; increas-ing in popularity in the U.S., though still not grown in large quantities. 
  • Available late summer and early fall. 
  • "Buttery" flavor lends well to baking, mashing and roasting.  
  • Some major varieties: Yukon Gold, Yellow Finn.

Blue & Purple Potatoes
Originated in South America; not widely cultivated in the U.S. These relatively uncommon tubers have flesh that ranges in hue from dark blue or lavender to white. Somewhat nutty flavor. 
  • Availability best in the fall. 
  • Microwaving preserves the color the best, but steaming and baking are also good preparation methods. 
  • Some major varieties: Purple Peruvian, All Blue
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Dig These Potato Pages
  • HealthPotato.com - Naturally Nutrishious, Always Delishious! Nutrition Information.
  • EAT YOUR COLORS TO STAY HEALTHY AND FIT!  It’s important to get a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet every day! Why? Because colorful fruits and vegetables provide the wide range of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals your body needs to maintain good health and energy levels. 
  • International Food Information Council - IFIC.org offers resources that explore bone health among the U.S. population and scientific research regarding the relationships among physical activity, nutrition, and healthy bones. Read more

Fun Activities
  • Mr. Potato - Place the funny faces on Mr. Potato! Ohhh how it makes me remember of being a child.
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Resources & outside links:
  • Top Photo: homestead

What is a Potato?
"Potato is the term which applies either to the starchy tuberous crop from the perennial plant Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae, or nightshade, family, or to the plant itself. Potato is the world's most widely grown tuber crop, and the fourth largest food crop in terms of fresh produce — after rice, wheat, and maize (corn)."



Potato Fun Facts
  •   Potatoes are not mentioned in the Bible. 
  •   We know that American Indians helped the settlers through their first winters in the New World with information about native foods such as squash, corn and beans. But did you know that later settlers returned the favor by introducing the potato to the Indians when Irish settlers successfully grew them in New Hampshire in 1719? (The potato had gotten to Ireland via the explorer Pizarro who brought them back to Europe from South America).
Potato Jokes
How do you describe an angry potato?
  Boiling Mad.

Why didn't the mother potato want her daughter to marry the famous newscaster? Because he was a commontater.

Why wouldn't the reporter leave the mashed potatoes alone? 
He desperately wanted a scoop.

What do you say to an angry 300-pound baked potato? 
  Anything, just butter him up.

What does a British potato say when it thinks something is wonderful? 
It's mashing! 
What do you call a baby potato? A small fry! 
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► Types of Fries
► Hash Browns
► Potato Recipes
► Potatoes
► Potato Gruel

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► Potato Chip Cookies
► Potato Pancakes
► Potato Starch Flour
► Potato Eyeballs
► 
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► National Potato Month: Always September!
► National Potato Chip Day: March 14
► National French Fry Day: July 13
► Potato Lovers month: February 
► Potato Day: August 19 
► Sweet Potato Month: Feb.
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