Potatoes are a popular root vegetable that humans have cultivated for over 7,000 years. Here are the top ten potato fun facts we could dig up!
The potato is a root vegetable and a fruit that is indigenous to the Americas.
It is a starchy tuber of the plant Solanum tuberosum. The perennial plant belongs to the Solanaceae family of nightshades. Amazingly, potatoes combine well with all other ingredients.
50 Surprising and Interesting Facts about Potato
Potatoes can be used in a variety of stand-alone meals that are delicious. They come in a variety of forms, and each culture has its own way of utilizing potatoes.
Let’s discover some intriguing potato facts today.
- Approximately 125 countries around the world and all 50 US states now farm potatoes.
- The white potato is related to tomatoes, tobacco, chile pepper, eggplant, and petunia, while the sweet potato is related to morning glories. The potato has roughly 80% water and 20% solids.
- Only about 100 calories are contained in an 8-ounce baked or boiled potato.
- Germans consume roughly twice as many potatoes annually as Americans, who eat about 124 pounds on average.
- Eric Jenkins, an Englishman, produced 370 pounds of potatoes from a single plant in 1974.
- Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing “french fries” to America when he served them at a White House dinner.
- When he served them at a White House supper, Thomas Jefferson is credited with bringing “french fries” to the United States.
- According to the Guinness Book of World Records, J. East and J. Busby of Great Britain grew a potato that weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce, in 1953 and 1982, respectively.
- The Pringle’s Company in Jackson, Tennessee, created the largest potato chip crisp in the world (on display at the Potato Museum) in 1990. It is 23″ x 14.5″ in size.
- The potato was the first vegetable to be cultivated in space in October 1995. The technique was developed by NASA and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with the intention of feeding astronauts on lengthy space missions and, eventually, future space colonies.
- In the past, potato blossoms were very popular in royal attire. When Marie Antoinette marched across the French countryside with potato blooms in her hair, potatoes first gained popularity.
- The highest amount of potato ever produced from a single plant was 370 pounds, and potatoes are made up of 80% water and 20% solids. Englishman Eric Jenkins accomplished this in 1974.
- Potato is the fourth most produced staple in the world, behind wheat, corn, and rice. It contains 75 grams of water, 19 grams of carbohydrates (including 15 grams of starch and 2.2 grams of dietary fiber), 2 grams of protein, 0.1 gram of fat, and trace amounts of numerous vitamins (C, E, K, B6), minerals, and metals (including magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and more).
- The typical American consumes 138 pounds of potatoes annually. Of those, half are fresh and half have undergone industrial processing (chips, dehydrated potato, canned potato).
- Over a billion people consume at least one potato per day.
- The potato was first brought to Europe by Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada in 1550, and Sir Walter Raleigh further popularized it in 1585.
- A prolonged period of darkness can turn potatoes toxic.
- Numerous potato cultivars have been developed over the years by botanists. Sebago (common potato), Pontiac (particularly well recognized for its thin, red skin), Desiree, Pink Fir Apple, Kipfler, Pink Eye (or Tasmanian Pink Eye), Russet Burbank, Spunta, and Nicola are a few of the most well-known breeds.
- In South America, potatoes were domesticated for the first time roughly 8,000 years ago. They arrived in Europe thanks to Spanish conquistadors.
- Common Europeans did not readily accept the potato. Only after France’s protracted wars and isolated economy drove its leaders to encourage potato production among both commoners and nobles did its popularity begin to rise.
- King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette played a very important role in the rise of potato during the late 18th century.
- Between 1845 and 1849, a sudden fungal illness in Ireland led to the hunger of almost one million people who relied on potatoes for food. Over 500,000 Irish people immigrated to North America and Australia both during and after those difficult times.
- The amount of time it takes to cook a potato was one of the earliest methods of measuring the time used by the ancient Incas.
- China is the world’s greatest producer and exporter of potatoes. They generated 75.8 million tons in 2010.
- After milk, potatoes are the second most popular food in the US.
- One brief potato-related conflict occurred in 1778. Australia and Prissioa were the opposing armies, and they both desired to starve one another by stealing one another’s food.
- The first European nation which gladly accepted potatoes into their cuisine was Spain. They immediately introduced potatoes as an invaluable military and navy ration that prevented the formation of scurvy.
- Due to their high Vitamin C content, potatoes were highly prized during the Klondike gold rush in Alaska in the 1890s. In certain instances, potatoes were exchanged for gold directly.
- The United Nations declared 2008 to be the “Year of the Potato” and made an effort to promote this plant as a great way to feed starving people in Asia and Africa.
- There are currently about 100 different kinds of edible potatoes.
- A baked potato has 21% of the daily required amount of vitamin B6. 20% potassium, 40% vitamin C, and 12% fiber. A guy can live off a diet of only potatoes and milk. Because potatoes lack significant levels of vitamins A and D, milk must be consumed.
- There are 110 calories in one medium potato (one cup serving of rice has 225 and one cups of pasta 115).
- A potato has more potassium than a banana, more fiber than an apple, and more vitamin C than an orange.
- The world’s largest potato was created by Pringle’s Company in Jackson, Tennessee, in 1990. In 1995, potato was successfully cultivated in space onboard the space shuttle Columbia. It measured 23 x 14.5 inches.
- There are 50 states in the USA that cultivate potatoes, with Idaho and Washington producing the most.
- The average Irish person consumes 120 kilograms of potatoes annually. That amount is merely 30 kg in Italy.
- In 1952, “Mr. Potatohead” was one of the first children’s toys to ever be advertised on US television.
The truth is that potatoes are an excellent dish, whether you like to boil, mash, or stew them.
Given their adaptability, it should come as no surprise that millions of people all around the world share a passion for this little tuber.