EtymologyThe English word ''potato'' comes from Spanish (the name used in Spain). The says the Spanish word is a hybrid of the (' ') and the ('potato'). The name originally referred to the although the two plants are not closely related. The 16th-century English herbalist referred to sweet potatoes as ''common potatoes'', and used the terms ''bastard potatoes'' and ''Virginia potatoes'' for the species we now call potato. In many of the chronicles detailing agriculture and plants, no distinction is made between the two. Potatoes are occasionally referred to as ''Irish potatoes'' or ''white potatoes'' in the United States, to distinguish them from sweet potatoes. The name ''spud'' for a potato comes from the digging of soil (or a hole) prior to the planting of potatoes. The word has an unknown origin and was originally () used as a term for a short knife or dagger, probably related to the Latin a word root meaning "sword"; compare Spanish , English "spade", and '' spadroon''. It subsequently transferred over to a variety of digging tools. Around 1845, the name transferred to the tuber itself, the first record of this usage being in . The origin of the word ''spud'' has erroneously been attributed to an 18th-century activist group dedicated to keeping the potato out of Britain, calling itself the Society for the Prevention of Unwholesome Diet. It was Mario Pei's 1949 ''The Story of Language'' that can be blamed for the word's false origin. Pei writes, "the potato, for its part, was in disrepute some centuries ago. Some Englishmen who did not fancy potatoes formed a Society for the Prevention of Unwholesome Diet. The initials of the main words in this title gave rise to spud." Like most other pre-20th century ic origins, this is false, and there is no evidence that a Society for the Prevention of Unwholesome Diet ever existed. At least six languages (Afrikaans, Dutch, French, Hebrew, Persian and some variants of German) are known to use a term for "potato" that translates roughly (or literally) into English as "earth apple" or "ground apple".
BiologyPotato plants are herbaceous s that grow about high, depending on variety, with the leaves dying back after flowering, fruiting and tuber formation. They bear white, pink, red, blue, or purple flowers with yellow s. Potatoes are mostly by insects such as s, which carry pollen from other potato plants, though a substantial amount of self-fertilizing occurs as well. Tubers form in response to decreasing day length, although this tendency has been minimized in commercial varieties. After flowering, potato plants produce small green fruits that resemble green es, each containing about 300 s. Like all parts of the plant except the tubers, the fruit contain the toxic and are therefore unsuitable for consumption. All new potato varieties are grown from seeds, also called "true potato seed", "TPS" or "botanical seed" to distinguish it from seed tubers. New varieties grown from seed can be propagated vegetatively by planting tubers, pieces of tubers cut to include at least one or two eyes, or cuttings, a practice used in greenhouses for the production of healthy seed tubers. Plants propagated from tubers are clones of the parent, whereas those propagated from seed produce a range of different varieties.
GeneticsThere are about 5,000 potato varieties worldwide. Three thousand of them are found in the Andes alone, mainly in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Colombia. They belong to eight or nine species, depending on the taxonomic school. Apart from the 5,000 cultivated varieties, there are about 200 wild species and subspecies, many of which can be cross-bred with cultivated varieties. Cross-breeding has been done repeatedly to transfer resistances to certain pests and diseases from the gene pool of wild species to the gene pool of cultivated potato species. The major species grown worldwide is ''Solanum tuberosum'' (a with 48 s), and modern varieties of this species are the most widely cultivated. There are also four diploid species (with 24 chromosomes): ''S. stenotomum'', ''S. phureja'', ''S. goniocalyx'', and ''S. ajanhuiri''. There are two triploid species (with 36 chromosomes): ''S. chaucha'' and ''S. juzepczukii''. There is one pentaploid cultivated species (with 60 chromosomes): ''S. curtilobum''. There are two major subspecies of ''Solanum tuberosum'': ''andigena'', or Andean; and ''tuberosum'', or Chilean. The Andean potato is adapted to the short-day conditions prevalent in the mountainous equatorial and tropical regions where it originated; the Chilean potato, however, native to the , is adapted to the long-day conditions prevalent in the higher latitude region of southern Chile. The , based in , holds 4,870 types of potato , most of which are traditional cultivars. The international Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium announced in 2009 that they had achieved a draft sequence of the potato genome, containing 12 chromosomes and 860 million base pairs, making it a medium-sized plant genome. More than 99 percent of all current of potatoes currently grown are direct descendants of a subspecies that once grew in the s of south-central . Nonetheless, genetic testing of the wide variety of s and wild species affirms that all potato subspecies derive from a single in the area of present-day southern and extreme Northwestern (from a species in the ''Solanum brevicaule'' complex). Most modern potatoes grown in North America arrived through European settlement and not independently from the South American sources, although at least one wild potato species, '' Solanum fendleri'', naturally ranges from Peru into Texas, where it is used in breeding for resistance to a species that attacks cultivated potatoes. A secondary center of genetic variability of the potato is Mexico, where important wild species that have been used extensively in modern breeding are found, such as the hexaploid '' Solanum demissum'', as a source of resistance to the devastating late blight disease. Another relative native to this region, '' Solanum bulbocastanum'', has been used to genetically engineer the potato to resist potato blight.
VarietiesThere are close to 4,000 varieties of potato each of which has specific agricultural or culinary attributes. Around 80 varieties are commercially available in the UK. In general, varieties are categorized into a few main groups based on common characteristics, such as russet potatoes (rough brown skin), red potatoes, white potatoes, yellow potatoes (also called Yukon potatoes) and purple potatoes. For culinary purposes, varieties are often differentiated by their waxiness: floury or mealy ''baking'' potatoes have more (20–22%) than waxy ''boiling'' potatoes (16–18%). The distinction may also arise from variation in the comparative ratio of two different potato starch compounds: and . Amylose, a long-chain molecule, diffuses from the starch granule when cooked in water, and lends itself to dishes where the potato is mashed. Varieties that contain a slightly higher amylopectin content, which is a highly branched molecule, help the potato retain its shape after being boiled in water. Potatoes that are good for making s or potato crisps are sometimes called "chipping potatoes", which means they meet the basic requirements of similar varietal characteristics, being firm, fairly clean, and fairly well-shaped. Immature potatoes may be sold fresh from the field as "creamer" or "new" potatoes and are particularly valued for their taste. They are typically small in size and tender, with a loose skin, and flesh containing a lower level of than other potatoes. In the USA they are generally either a Yukon Gold potato or a red potato, called gold creamers or red creamers respectively. In the UK, the Jersey Royal is a famous type of new potato. They are distinct from "baby", "salad" or " fingerling" potatoes, which are small and tend to have waxy flesh, but are grown to maturity and can be stored for months before being sold. The European Cultivated Potato Database (ECPD) is an online collaborative database of potato variety descriptions that is updated and maintained by the within the framework of the European Cooperative Programme for Crop Genetic Resources Networks (ECP/GR)—which is run by the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI).
PigmentationDozens of potato s have been selectively bred specifically for their skin or, more commonly, flesh , including gold, red, and blue varieties that contain varying amounts of s, including for gold/yellow or s for red or blue cultivars. Carotenoid compounds include provitamin A and , which are converted to the , , during digestion. s mainly responsible for red or blue pigmentation in potato cultivars do not have nutritional significance, but are used for visual variety and consumer appeal. In 2010, potatoes were bioengineered specifically for these pigmentation traits.
Genetically engineered potatoesGenetic research has produced several varieties. 'New Leaf', owned by , incorporates genes from '' '', which confers resistance to the ; 'New Leaf Plus' and 'New Leaf Y', approved by US regulatory agencies during the 1990s, also include resistance to viruses. , , , and announced they would not use genetically modified potatoes, and Monsanto published its intent to discontinue the line in March 2001. Waxy potato varieties produce two main kinds of potato starch, and , the latter of which is most industrially useful. developed the potato, which was modified to express to inactivate the gene for granule bound starch synthase, an enzyme which catalyzes the formation of amylose. Amflora potatoes therefore produce starch consisting almost entirely of , and are thus more useful for the starch industry. In 2010, the European Commission cleared the way for 'Amflora' to be grown in the European Union for industrial purposes only—not for food. Nevertheless, under EU rules, individual countries have the right to decide whether they will allow this potato to be grown on their territory. Commercial planting of 'Amflora' was expected in the Czech Republic and Germany in the spring of 2010, and and the Netherlands in subsequent years. Another GM potato variety developed by BASF is 'Fortuna' which was made resistant to by adding two resistance genes, blb1 and blb2, which originate from the Mexican wild potato Solanum bulbocastanum. In October 2011 BASF requested cultivation and marketing approval as a feed and food from the EFSA. In 2012, GMO development in Europe was stopped by BASF. In November 2014, the USDA approved a genetically modified potato developed by J.R. Simplot Company, which contains genetic modifications that prevent bruising and produce less when fried than conventional potatoes; the modifications do not cause new proteins to be made, but rather prevent proteins from being made via . Genetically modified varieties have met public resistance in the United States and in the European Union.
BiosynthesisSucrose is a product of photosynthesis as it is in many photosynthetic organisms. As sucrose synthase activity begins, Ferreira et al 2010 finds starch genes to begin transcription at the same time. This transcription - including starch synthase - also shows a rhythm, correlating with the sucrose supply arriving from the leaves.
HistoryThe potato was first domesticated in the region of modern-day southern and northwestern by pre-Columbian farmers, around Lake Titicaca. It has since spread around the world and become a in many countries. The earliest archaeologically verified potato tuber remains have been found at the coastal site of (central ), dating to 2500 BC. The most widely cultivated variety, '' Solanum tuberosum tuberosum'', is indigenous to the , and has been cultivated by the local since before the . According to conservative estimates, the introduction of the potato was responsible for a quarter of the growth in population and urbanization between 1700 and 1900. In the Altiplano, potatoes provided the principal energy source for the , its predecessors, and its Spanish successor. Following the , the Spanish introduced the potato to Europe in the second half of the 16th century, part of the . The staple was subsequently conveyed by European (possibly including ) mariners to territories and ports throughout the world, especially their colonies. The potato was slow to be adopted by European and colonial farmers, but after 1750 it became an important food staple and field crop and played a major role in the European 19th century population boom. However, lack of genetic diversity, due to the very limited number of varieties initially introduced, left the crop vulnerable to disease. In 1845, a plant disease known as late blight, caused by the fungus-like '' '', spread rapidly through the poorer communities of western as well as parts of the , resulting in the crop failures that led to the . Thousands of varieties still persist in the Andes however, where over 100 cultivars might be found in a single valley, and a dozen or more might be maintained by a single agricultural household.
ProductionIn 2018, world production of potatoes was 368 million s, led by China with 27% of the total (table). Other major producers were India, Russia, Ukraine and the United States. It remains an essential crop in Europe (especially northern and eastern 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.
NutritionAccording to the United States Department of Agriculture, a typical raw potato is 79% water, 17% (88% is ), 2% , and contains negligible (see table). In a portion, raw potato provides of food energy and is a rich source of and (23% and 24% of the , respectively), with no other vitamins or minerals in significant amount (see table). The potato is rarely eaten raw because raw potato starch is poorly digested by humans. When a potato is baked, its contents of vitamin B6 and vitamin C decline notably, while there is little significant change in the amount of other nutrients. Potatoes are often broadly classified as having a high (GI) and so are often excluded from the diets of individuals trying to follow a low-GI diet. The GI of potatoes can vary considerably depending on the cultivar, growing conditions and storage, preparation methods (by cooking method, whether it is eaten hot or cold, whether it is mashed or cubed or consumed whole), and accompanying foods consumed (especially the addition of various high-fat or high-protein toppings). Consuming reheated or pre-cooked and cooled potatoes may yield a lower GI effect due to the formation of resistant starch. In the UK, potatoes are not considered by the National Health Service (NHS) as counting or contributing towards the recommended daily 5 A Day, five portions of fruit and vegetables, the 5-A-Day program.
Comparison to other staple foodsThis table shows the nutrient content of potatoes next to other major staple foods, each one measured in its respective raw state on a Dry matter#Dry matter basis, dry weight basis to account for their different water contents, even though staple foods are not commonly eaten raw and are usually sprouted or cooked before eating. In sprouted and cooked form, the relative nutritional and anti-nutritional contents of each of these grains (or other foods) may be different from the values in this table. Each nutrient (every row) has the highest number highlighted to show the staple food with the greatest amount in a dry 100 gram portion.
ToxicityPotatoes contain Toxicity, toxic compounds known as glycoalkaloids, of which the most prevalent are and chaconine. Solanine is found in other plants in the same family, , which includes such plants as deadly nightshade (''Atropa belladonna''), henbane (''Hyoscyamus niger'') and tobacco (''Nicotiana, Nicotiana spp.''), as well as the food plants eggplant and . These compounds, which protect the potato plant from its predators, are generally concentrated in its leaves, flowers, sprouts, and fruits (in contrast to the tubers). In a summary of several studies, the glycoalkaloid content was highest in the flowers and sprouts and lowest in the tuber flesh. (The glycoalkaloid content was, in order from highest to lowest: flowers, sprouts, leaves, tuber skin, roots, berries, peel [skin plus outer cortex of tuber flesh], stems, and tuber flesh). Exposure to light, physical damage, and age increase glycoalkaloid content within the tuber. Cooking at high temperatures—over —partly destroys these compounds. The concentration of glycoalkaloids in Solanum jamesii, wild potatoes is sufficient to produce toxic effects in humans. Glycoalkaloid poisoning may cause headaches, diarrhea, cramps, and, in severe cases, coma and death. However, poisoning from cultivated potato varieties is very rare. Light exposure causes greening from chlorophyll synthesis, giving a visual clue as to which areas of the tuber may have become more toxic. However, this does not provide a definitive guide, as greening and glycoalkaloid accumulation can occur independently of each other. Different potato varieties contain different levels of glycoalkaloids. The Lenape (potato), Lenape variety was released in 1967 but was withdrawn in 1970 as it contained high levels of glycoalkaloids. Since then, breeders developing new varieties test for this, and sometimes have to discard an otherwise promising . Breeders try to keep glycoalkaloid levels below 200 mg/kg (200 Parts-per notation, ppmw). However, when these commercial varieties turn green, they can still approach concentrations of 1000 mg/kg (1000 ppmw). In normal potatoes, analysis has shown solanine levels may be as little as 3.5% of the breeders' maximum, with 7–187 mg/kg being found. While a normal potato tuber has 12–20 mg/kg of glycoalkaloid content, a green potato tuber contains 250–280 mg/kg and its skin has 1500–2200 mg/kg.
Growth and cultivation
Seed potatoesPotatoes are generally grown from ''seed potatoes'', tubers specifically grown to be free from disease and to provide consistent and healthy plants. To be disease free, the areas where seed potatoes are grown are selected with care. In the US, this restricts production of seed potatoes to only 15 states out of all 50 states where potatoes are grown. These locations are selected for their cold, hard winters that kill pests and summers with long sunshine hours for optimum growth. In the UK, most seed potatoes originate in Scotland, in areas where westerly winds reduce aphid attack and the spread of Potato virus Y, potato virus pathogens.
Phases of growthPotato growth can be divided into five phases. During the first phase, sprouts emerge from the seed potatoes and root growth begins. During the second, photosynthesis begins as the plant develops leaves and branches above-ground and stolons develop from lower leaf axils on the below-ground stem. In the third phase the tips of the stolons swell forming new tubers and the shoots continue to grow and flowers typically develop soon after. Tuber bulking occurs during the fourth phase, when the plant begins investing the majority of its resources in its newly formed tubers. At this phase, several factors are critical to a good yield: optimal soil moisture and temperature, soil nutrient availability and balance, and resistance to Pest (organism), pest attacks. The fifth phase is the maturation of the tubers: the leaves and stems senesce and the tuber skins harden.
ChallengesNew tubers may start growing at the surface of the soil. Since exposure to light leads to an undesirable greening of the skins and the development of as a protection from the sun's rays, growers cover surface tubers. Commercial growers cover them by piling additional soil around the base of the plant as it grows (called "hilling" up, or in British English "earthing up"). An alternative method, used by home gardeners and smaller-scale growers, involves covering the growing area with organic mulches such as straw or plastic sheets. Correct potato husbandry can be an arduous task in some circumstances. Good ground preparation, harrowing, plough, plowing, and rolling are always needed, along with a little grace from the weather and a good source of water. Three successive plowings, with associated harrowing and rolling, are desirable before planting. Eliminating all root-weeds is desirable in potato cultivation. In general, the potatoes themselves are grown from the eyes of another potato and not from seed. Home gardeners often plant a piece of potato with two or three eyes in a hill of mounded soil. Commercial growers plant potatoes as a row crop using seed tubers, young plants or microtubers and may mound the entire row. Seed potato crops are roguing, rogued in some countries to eliminate diseased plants or those of a different variety from the seed crop. Potatoes are sensitive to heavy frosts, which damage them in the ground. Even cold weather makes potatoes more susceptible to bruising and possibly later rotting, which can quickly ruin a large stored crop.
Pests and diseaseThe historically significant '' '' (late blight) remains an ongoing problem in Europe and the United States. Other potato diseases include ''Rhizoctonia'', ''Sclerotinia'', Pectobacterium carotovorum, black leg, powdery mildew, powdery scab and Potato leafroll virus, leafroll virus. Insects that commonly transmit potato diseases or damage the plants include the , the potato tuber moth, the green peach aphid (''Myzus persicae''), the potato aphid, ''Tuta absoluta'', beet leafhoppers, thrips, and mites. The potato cyst nematode is a microscopic worm that feeds on the roots, thus causing the potato plants to wilt. Since its eggs can survive in the soil for several years, crop rotation is recommended. According to an Environmental Working Group analysis of USDA and FDA pesticide residue tests performed from 2000 through 2008, 84% of the 2,216 tested potato samples contained detectable traces of at least one pesticide. A total of 36 unique pesticides were detected on potatoes over the 2,216 samples, though no individual sample contained more than 6 unique pesticide traces, and the average was 1.29 detectable unique pesticide traces per sample. The average quantity of all pesticide traces found in the 2,216 samples was 1.602 Parts per million, ppm. While this was a very low value of pesticide residue, it was the highest amongst the 50 vegetables analyzed.
HarvestAt harvest time, gardeners usually dig up potatoes with a long-handled, three-prong "grape" (or graip), i.e., a Garden fork, spading fork, or a potato hook, which is similar to the graip but with tines at a 90Degree (angle), ° angle to the handle. In larger plots, the plow is the fastest implement for unearthing potatoes. Commercial harvesting is typically done with large potato harvesters, which scoop up the plant and surrounding earth. This is transported up an apron chain consisting of steel links several feet wide, which separates some of the dirt. The chain deposits into an area where further separation occurs. Different designs use different systems at this point. The most complex designs use vine choppers and shakers, along with a blower system to separate the potatoes from the plant. The result is then usually run past workers who continue to sort out plant material, stones, and rotten potatoes before the potatoes are continuously delivered to a wagon or truck. Further inspection and separation occurs when the potatoes are unloaded from the field vehicles and put into storage. Potatoes are usually cured after harvest to improve skin-set. Skin-set is the process by which the skin of the potato becomes resistant to skinning damage. Potato tubers may be susceptible to skinning at harvest and suffer skinning damage during harvest and handling operations. Curing allows the skin to fully set and any wounds to heal. Wound-healing prevents infection and water-loss from the tubers during storage. Curing is normally done at relatively warm temperatures () with high humidity and good gas-exchange if at all possible.
StorageStorage facilities need to be carefully designed to keep the potatoes alive and slow the natural process of sprouting which involves the breakdown of starch. It is crucial that the storage area be dark, ventilated well, and, for long-term storage, maintained at temperatures near . For short-term storage, temperatures of about are preferred.Potato storage, value Preservation: Temperatures below convert the starch in potatoes into sugar, which alters their taste and cooking qualities and leads to higher levels in the cooked product, especially in deep-fried dishes. The discovery of acrylamides in starchy foods in 2002 has led to international health concerns. They are believed to be probable carcinogens and their occurrence in cooked foods is being studied for potentially influencing health problems. Chemicals are used to suppress sprouting of tubers during storage. Chlorpropham (CIPC) is the main chemical used, but toxicity concerns have led to it being banned in the EU. Alternatives are applying maleic hydrazide to the crop whilst it is still growing or the use of ethylene, spearmint and orange oils and 1,4-dimethylnaphthalene. Under optimum conditions in commercial warehouses, potatoes can be stored for up to 10–12 months. The commercial storage and retrieval of potatoes involves several phases: first ''drying'' surface moisture; ''wound healing'' at 85% to 95% relative humidity and temperatures below ; a staged ''cooling phase''; a ''holding'' phase; and a ''reconditioning'' phase, during which the tubers are slowly warmed. Ventilation (architecture), Mechanical ventilation is used at various points during the process to prevent condensation and the accumulation of carbon dioxide.
YieldThe world dedicated to potato cultivation in 2010; the world average yield was . The United States was the most productive country, with a nationwide average yield of . United Kingdom was a close second. New Zealand farmers have demonstrated some of the best commercial yields in the world, ranging between 60 and 80 tonnes per hectare, some reporting yields of 88 tonnes of potatoes per hectare. There is a big gap among various countries between high and low yields, even with the same variety of potato. Average potato yields in developed economies ranges between 38 and 44 tonnes per hectare. China and India accounted for over a third of world's production in 2010, and had yields of 14.7 and 19.9 tonnes per hectare respectively. The yield gap between farms in developing economies and developed economies represents an opportunity loss of over 400 million tonnes of potato, or an amount greater than 2010 world potato production. Potato crop yields are determined by factors such as the crop breed, seed age and quality, crop management practices and the plant environment. Improvements in one or more of these yield determinants, and a closure of the yield gap, can be a major boost to food supply and farmer incomes in the developing world. The food energy yield of potatoes—about —is higher than that of maize (), rice (), wheat (), or soybeans ().
Climate changeClimate change is predicted to have significant effects on global potato production. Like many crops, potatoes are likely to be affected by changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, temperature and precipitation, as well as interactions between these factors. As well as affecting potatoes directly, climate change will also affect the distributions and populations of many potato diseases and pests.
UsesPotatoes are prepared in many ways: skin-on or peeled, whole or cut up, with seasonings or without. The only requirement involves cooking to swell the starch granules. Most potato dishes are served hot but some are first cooked, then served cold, notably potato salad and potato chip, potato chips (crisps). Common dishes are: mashed potatoes, which are first boiled (usually peeled), and then mashed with milk or yogurt and butter; whole baked potatoes; boiling, boiled or steaming, steamed potatoes; French fries, French-fried potatoes or chips; cut into cubes and roasting, roasted; scalloped potatoes, scalloped, diced, or sliced and fried (home fries); grated into small thin strips and fried (hash browns); grated and formed into dumplings, Rösti or potato pancakes. Unlike many foods, potatoes can also be easily cooked in a microwave oven and still retain nearly all of their nutritional value, provided they are covered in ventilated plastic wrap to prevent moisture from escaping; this method produces a meal very similar to a steamed potato, while retaining the appearance of a conventionally baked potato. Potato chunks also commonly appear as a stew ingredient. Potatoes are boiled between 10 and 25 minutes, depending on size and type, to become soft.
Other than for eatingPotatoes are also used for purposes other than eating by humans, for example: * Potatoes are used to brew alcoholic beverages such as vodka, poitín, or akvavit. * They are also used as fodder for livestock. Livestock-grade potatoes, considered too small and/or blemished to sell or market for human use but suitable for fodder use, have been called ''chats'' in some dialects. They may be stored in bins until use; they are sometimes silage, ensiled. Some farmers prefer to steam them rather than feed them raw and are equipped to do so efficiently. * Potato starch is used in the food industry as a thickener and binder for soups and sauces, in the textile industry as an adhesive, and for the manufacturing of papers and boards. * Potatoes are commonly used in plant research. The consistent parenchyma tissue, the clonal nature of the plant and the low metabolic activity make it an ideal model organism, model tissue for experiments on wound-response studies and electron transport. * Potatoes have been delivered with personalized messages as a novelty. Potato delivery services include Potato Parcel and Mail A Spud.
Latin AmericaPeruvian cuisine naturally contains the potato as a primary ingredient in many dishes, as around 3,000 varieties of this tuber are grown there. Some of the more notable dishes include boiled potato as a base for several dishes or with ají (sauce), ají-based sauces like in Papa a la Huancaína or ocopa, diced potato for its use in soups like in cau cau, or in Carapulca with dried potato (papa seca). Smashed condimented potato is used in causa Limeña and papa rellena. French-fried potatoes are a typical ingredient in Peruvian stir-fries, including the classic dish lomo saltado. Chuño is a freeze-drying, freeze-dried potato product traditionally made by Quechuas, Quechua and Aymara people, Aymara communities of and , and is known in various countries of South America, including , Bolivia, Argentina, and . In Chile's , potatoes are the main ingredient of many dishes, including milcaos, chapaleles, curanto and chochoca. In Ecuador, the potato, as well as being a staple with most dishes, is featured in the hearty ''locro de papas'', a thick soup of potato, squash, and cheese.
EuropeIn the UK, potatoes form part of the traditional staple, fish and chips. Roast potatoes are commonly served as part of a Sunday roast, Sunday roast dinner and mashed potatoes form a major component of several other traditional dishes, such as shepherd's pie, bubble and squeak, and bangers and mash. New potatoes may be cooked with mentha, mint and are often served with butter. The Tattie scone is a popular Scottish dish containing potatoes. Colcannon is a traditional Irish food made with mashed potato, shredded kale or cabbage, and onion; champ (food), champ is a similar dish. Boxty pancakes are eaten throughout Ireland, although associated especially with the North, and in Irish diaspora communities; they are traditionally made with grated potatoes, soaked to loosen the starch and mixed with flour, buttermilk and baking powder. A variant eaten and sold in Lancashire, especially Liverpool, is made with cooked and mashed potatoes. In the UK, game chips are a traditional accompaniment to roast gamebirds such as pheasant, grouse, partridge and quail. Halušky, Halushky are the national dish of many Slavic nations. Halušky dumplings are made from a batter consisting of flour and grated potatoes. ''Bryndzové halušky'' are associated to Slovakia, Slovak cuisine in particular. In Germany, Northern Europe, Northern (Finland, Latvia and especially Scandinavia, Scandinavian countries), Eastern Europe (Russia, Belarus and Ukraine) and Poland, newly harvested, early ripening varieties are considered a special delicacy. Boiled whole and served un-peeled with dill, these "new potatoes" are traditionally consumed with pickled herring, Baltic herring. Puddings made from grated potatoes (kugel, kugelis, and potato babka) are popular items of Ashkenazi cuisine, Ashkenazi, Lithuanian cuisine, Lithuanian, and Belarusian cuisine, Belarusian cuisine. German fries, German fried potatoes and various versions of Potato salad are part of German cuisine. Bauernfrühstück (literally ''farmer's breakfast'') is a warm German dish made from fried potatoes, Egg (food), eggs, ham and vegetables. Cepelinai is Lithuanian national dish. They are a type of dumpling made from grated raw potatoes boiled in water and usually stuffed with Ground meat, minced meat, although sometimes dry cottage cheese (curd) or mushrooms are used instead. In Western Europe, especially in Belgium, sliced potatoes are fried to create ''frieten'', the original French fried potatoes. ''Stamppot'', a traditional Dutch meal, is based on mashed potatoes mixed with vegetables. In France, the most notable potato dish is the ''Hachis Parmentier'', named after Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, a French pharmacist, nutritionist, and agronomist who, in the late 18th century, was instrumental in the acceptance of the potato as an edible crop in the country. ''Pâté aux pommes de terre'' is a regional potato dish from the central Allier and Limousin (region), Limousin regions. ''Gratin dauphinois'', consisting of baked thinly sliced potatoes with cream or milk, and ''tartiflette'', with Reblochon cheese, are also widespread. In the north of Italy, in particular, in the Friuli region of the northeast, potatoes serve to make a type of pasta called gnocchi. Similarly, cooked and mashed potatoes or potato flour can be used in the Knödel or dumpling eaten with or added to meat dishes all over central and Eastern Europe, but especially in Bavaria and Luxembourg. Potatoes form one of the main ingredients in many soups such as the vichyssoise and Albanian potato and cabbage soup. In western Norway, komle is popular. A traditional Canary Islands dish is Canarian wrinkly potatoes or ''papas arrugadas''. ''Tortilla de patatas'' (potato omelette) and ''patatas bravas'' (a dish of fried potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce) are near-universal constituent of Spanish tapas.
North AmericaIn the US, potatoes have become one of the most widely consumed crops and thus have a variety of preparation methods and condiments. French fries and often hash browns are commonly found in typical American fast-food burger "joints" and cafeterias. One popular favourite involves a baked potato with cheddar cheese (or sour cream and chives) on top, and in New England "smashed potatoes" (a chunkier variation on mashed potatoes, retaining the peel) have a great popularity. Potato flakes are popular as an instant variety of mashed potatoes, which reconstitute into mashed potatoes by adding water, with butter or oil and salt to taste. A regional dish of Central New York, salt potatoes are bite-size new potatoes boiled in water saturated with salt then served with melted butter. At more formal dinners, a common practice includes taking small red potatoes, slicing them, and roasting them in an iron skillet. Among American Jews, the practice of eating latkes (fried potato pancakes) is common during the festival of Hanukkah. A traditional Acadian dish from New Brunswick is known as ''poutine râpée''. The Acadian poutine is a ball of grated and mashed potato, salted, sometimes filled with pork in the centre, and boiled. The result is a moist ball about the size of a baseball (ball), baseball. It is commonly eaten with salt and pepper or brown sugar. It is believed to have originated from the German ''Klöße'', prepared by early German settlers who lived among the Acadians. ''Poutine'', by contrast, is a hearty serving of French fries, fresh cheese curds and hot gravy. Tracing its origins to Quebec in the 1950s, it has become a widespread and popular dish throughout Canada. Potato grading for Idaho potatoes is performed in which No. 1 potatoes are the highest quality and No. 2 are rated as lower in quality due to their appearance (e.g. blemishes or bruises, pointy ends). Potato density assessment can be performed by floating them in brines. High-density potatoes are desirable in the production of dehydrated mashed potatoes, potato crisps and french fries.
South AsiaIn South Asia, the potato is a very popular traditional staple. In India, the most popular potato dishes are ''aloo ki sabzi'', batata vada, and samosa, which is spicy mashed potato mixed with a small amount of vegetable stuffed in conical dough, and deep fried. Potatoes are also a major ingredient as fast food items, such as aloo chaat, where they are deep fried and served with chutney. In Northern India, alu dum and alu paratha are a favourite part of the diet; the first is a spicy curry of boiled potato, the second is a type of stuffed chapati. A dish called masala dosa from South India is very notable all over India. It is a thin pancake of rice and legume, pulse batter rolled over spicy smashed potato and eaten with sambhar and chutney. Poori in south India in particular in Tamil Nadu is almost always taken with smashed potato masal. Other favourite dishes are alu tikki and pakoda items. Vada pav is a popular vegetarian fast food dish in Mumbai and other regions in the Maharashtra in India. Aloo posto (a curry with potatoes and poppy seeds) is immensely popular in East India, especially Bengal. Although potatoes are not native to India, it has become a vital part of food all over the country especially North Indian food preparations. In Tamil Nadu this tuber acquired a name based on its appearance 'urulai-k-kizhangu' (உருளைக் கிழங்கு) meaning cylindrical tuber. The Aloo gosht, Potato and meat curry, is one of the popular dishes in South Asia, especially in Pakistan.
East AsiaIn East Asia, particularly Southeast Asia, rice is by far the predominant starch crop, with potatoes a secondary crop, especially in China and Japan. However, it is used in northern China where rice is not easily grown, with a popular dish being (''qīng jiāo tǔ dòu sī''), made with green pepper, vinegar and thin slices of potato. In the winter, roadside sellers in northern China will also sell roasted potatoes. It is also occasionally seen in Korean and Thai cuisines.
In artThe potato has been an essential crop in the since the pre-Columbian Era. The Moche (culture), Moche culture from Northern made ceramics from the earth, water, and fire. This pottery was a sacred substance, formed in significant shapes and used to represent important themes. Potatoes are represented anthropomorphically as well as naturally. During the late 19th century, numerous images of potato harvesting appeared in European art, including the works of Willem Witsen and Anton Mauve. Van Gogh's 1885 painting ''The Potato Eaters'' portrays a family eating potatoes. Van Gogh said he wanted to depict peasants as they really were. He deliberately chose coarse and ugly models, thinking that they would be natural and unspoiled in his finished work. Jean-François Millet's ''The Potato Harvest'' depicts peasants working in the plains between Barbizon and Chailly. It presents a theme representative of the peasants' struggle for survival. Millet's technique for this work incorporated paste-like pigments thickly applied over a coarsely textured canvas.
In popular cultureInvented in 1949, and marketed and sold commercially by Hasbro in 1952, Mr. Potato Head is an American toy that consists of a plastic potato and attachable plastic parts, such as ears and eyes, to make a face. It was the first toy ever advertised on television.
See also* Climate change and potatoes * Irish potato candy * List of potato cultivars * List of potato dishes * List of potato museums * Loy (spade), a form of early spade used in Ireland for the cultivation of potatoes * New World crops * Potato battery
General sources* ''Economist''. "Llamas and mash"
Further reading* * *