First it was a botanical treasure, then the main food source of the population in Europe and now it is the fourth most important food in the world. The potato has already experienced a lot. So this time it was quite simple to make my thoughts about this special tuber. And as a recipe I have a favorite dish from my childhood: fried potatoes – but this time slightly modified in the manner of the German cook Tim Mälzer. In his cooking book Greenbox* I discovered this recipe. And here are now my 10 Thoughts about.. Potatoes.
- The German name Kartoffel for potatoes has been developed by a dissimilation from the word tartuffeln. In Germany in 1800 potatoes were still called tartuffeln based on the Italian words tarathopholi and tartuffoli which were used because of the similarity of potatoes with truffles 1, 2, 6).
- In parts of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the potato is also called Erdapfel (Herdöpfel), Erdbirne or Grundbirne (Grumbeer) 1, 6).
- About 300 million tons of potatoes are harvested annually worldwide. The potato is the fourth most important food in the world. In addition they are also used as feed and industrial raw material 1).
- In the first half of the 16th Century, the Spaniards got to know the potato by the Incas and with their ships they bought the potato to Europe. But it still took several generations before the botanical treasure became a main food source for the general population in Europe 2).
- In Ireland, already at the beginning of the 17th Century potatoes were cultivated as they seemed to be the perfect fruit for this barren island. There, the potato became very quickly almost the single nutritional basis for the common population. The result was that between 1845 and 1852 a new potato disease commonly known as potato blight caused several potato crop failures. The result was the Great Famine (Irish: potato famine). During this period about one million people died in Ireland, which was about twelve percent of the population 2, 3).
- The potato is a very healthy vegetable. The tuber is low in calories due to its high water content of about 80%, but provides a lot of healthy ingredients, such as starch, fiber, high quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals 4).
- In folk medicine, potato juice, which comes from raw potatoes, is known as a natural remedy for internal use for chronic gastric hyperacidity, stomach trouble or gastritis. Used externally, potato juice shall help in case of inflammation, injury and ulcers 5).
- The meaning of the German saying Rein in die Kartoffeln, raus aus den Kartoffeln (“Get into the potatoes, get out of the potatoes”) is that first the arrangement is so, then it is the other way around, and dates from the 19th Century. Its origin is in the military field and refers to the fact that troops should first advance through potato fields during maneuvers, and then they were ordered back to avoid field damages 6).
- Peeled potatoes should be always placed in water because, in conjunction with oxygen there are dyes formed that stain the potatoes dark 7).
- Potatoes should be placed in cold water for cooking because oxydization causes the potatos to turn dark 7).
- 1) http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kartoffeln (letzter Besuch: 10.01.2014)
- 2) http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kulturgeschichte_der_Kartoffel (letzter Besuch: 10.01.2014)
- 3) http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gro%C3%9Fe_Hungersnot_in_Irland (letzter Besuch: 10.01.2014)
- 4) http://lexikon.huettenhilfe.de/gemuese/kartoffel.html (letzter Besuch: 10.01.2014)
- 5) http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kartoffelsaft (letzter Besuch: 10.01.2014)
- 6) http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/Kartoffel (letzter Besuch: 10.01.2014)
- 7) http://www.effilee.de/rubriken/susis-basics/susis-basics-kartoffeln-kochen-2285/ (letzter Besuch: 10.01.2014)
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