History of the Potato

Potato history is several thousand years old. To many people the potato is synonymous with the Irish these days, but the potato can in fact be traced back to Latin America were it first was domesticated by the Inca people in Peru between 8000 BC and 5000 BC Where it was worshiped because of its high nutritional value and storage quality.

Westerners did not come in contact with the potato until about 1537 when the Spanish conquistadors travelled through Peru and from there brought it to Europe where the first potato found itself across the Atlantic growing on the European continent in around 1570.

Potatoes were first introduced to Britain and Ireland in the late 1500s. They weren’t an immediate hit either, many people blamed them for diseases and railed against them because they weren’t mentioned in the Bible.

 


 

Did you know royalty even used to wear potatoes to make a fashion statement?  The first time potatoes became popular in Europe was after Marie Antoinette wore potato blossoms.  And she was not the only one who thought wearing potato blossoms was fashionable. Even King Louis XVI got into the potato-wearing action.

There are about five thousand potato varieties worldwide and they come in many different colours, sizes, shapes. For more information on the varities we carry in MyCo Seed and specific information on dry content, yield and resistance to diseases please
click here.

Even though potatoes were first introduced outside the Andes region about four centuries ago it has become an integral part of much of the worlds cuisine. It is the worlds fourth-largest food crop, following rice, wheat and maize.

 


 

The annual diet of an average global citizen in the first decade of the 21st century included about 33 kg (73 lb) of potatoes. However, the local importance of potato is extremely variable and rapidly changing. It remains an essential crop in Europe (especially eastern and central Europe), where per capita production is still the highest in the world, but the most rapid expansion over the past few decades has occurred in southern and eastern Asia. China is now the worlds largest potato-producing country, and nearly a third of the worlds potatoes are harvested in China and India.