Mash! Chips! Sautéed! Baked! Everybody loves a potato! It is the world’s favourite root vegetable and comes in thousands of varieties although only a few dozen are currently produced in the mass market. As most varieties of potato have a neutralMoreMash! Chips! Sautéed! Baked! Everybody loves a potato! It is the world’s favourite root vegetable and comes in thousands of varieties although only a few dozen are currently produced in the mass market.
As most varieties of potato have a neutral flavor, they are ideal as a base to absorb the flavors of a myriad of different dishes and can complement almost any meal. The texture can vary a great deal depending upon the preparation but it can generally be described as rich and creamy on the palate. A wonderfully versatile super food that literally revolutionized the western world in the early 17th century, the humble potato is still a staple food for hundreds of millions of people and its history and development is well documented. It is no exaggeration to say that the potato belongs in the annals of kitchen history, as they relate to every single country and state in the western world, and have at least one chapter dedicated to the influence of this simple foodstuff.According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, over three hundred and twenty million tonnes of potatoes are produced each year with around seventy percent of this being consumed directly by humans.
That’s a lot of potatoes! The rest is used either as animal feed or to produce starch for industry purposes.The largest potato-producing country in the world is currently China, and almost one third of the global potato yield is harvested in either China or India. In 2008, many concerned international organizations made a point of highlighting the crucial role of the potato in global food production in the face of continuously developing economic problems, citing the almost limitless potential benefits that derive from the fact that it is a cheap and plentiful crop that can be cultivated in a huge variety of climates and locations.
The United Nations declared 2008 as officially the “International Year of the Potato” in order to raise its profile throughout the developing nations, calling the crop a hidden treasure with the potential still to solve the world’s food problems.