ONCE UPON A TIME ... THE POTATO

Parmentier and King Louis XVI
Parmentier oofers a bunch of potatoes to King Louis XVI

The potato has not always been part of European menus.

Cultivated by the Indians, and known as 'papas', it used to be preserved for several years in a peculiar form, the 'chunio'. It was introduced to Spain in the 1530's (first as medecine) from where it spread to Europe. Parmentier contributed to introducing the potato to France, and to developing its consumption

Not very tasty, unusual to cereal-eaters, it first food of the poor, useful against hunger. In 1846, however, the potato downy mildew caused a famine in Ireland.

In 1992, Europeans consumed on average 110 kg cereals and 80 Kg potatoes per head and year.
Today, many potato varieties adapted to all kinds of processing are available.



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