If you had to count the number of things you could make with a single potato you would be counting for a very long time. This starchy, tuberous crop is also pretty numerous on fun facts, but I have selected ten of the very best potato facts for you…
FACT 1: There Are Over 1,000 Different Types of Potatoes!
There is Adirondack Red, Andean black, Avalanche, Belle de Fontenay, Blaue Hindelbank, Blue Congo, Chiloé, Duke of York, Ennstaler Alpe, Finka, Golden Wonder, Hela, Irish Cobbler, Mayan Queen, Professor Wohltmann, Shetland Black to name just a few of them! (and yes those are all REAL names of types of potatoes.)
FACT 2: China Grows 26% of The Worlds Potatoes!
While you might have thought the UK, Russia of US would have been top of the potato growing chart it is indeed China that produces far more than any other country. In fact, it produces more potatoes than the whole of Europe does!
FACT 3: Potatoes ARE NOT One of Your 5 a Day!
If you have been told to eat your 5-A-Day of fruits and vegetables you can forget eating a potato or maybe chips because a potato doesn’t make it into the suggested vegetable list even though we eat more of them in the UK than many other Western Countries.
FACT 4: Potatoes are 79% Water!
There really isn’t a whole lot to a raw potato. Mos types of potato are 79% water, 17% carbohydrates (88% is starch), 2% protein, and they also contain negligible amounts of fat. So basically they are not a lot at all.
FACT 5: Potatoes Are Also Used to Brew Alcoholic Beverages!
If you enjoy a nice glass of vodka, poitín, or akvavit you might not know that they are all made with fermented potatoes! While some modern brands use fruit instead most of the classic vodka makers still use the same kind of potatoes.
FACT 6: The Worlds Heaviest Potato Weighs 4.98 kg (10 lb 14 oz)
It was a man called Peter Glazebrook from Shepton Mallet in England who grew this beast of a potato and put its amazing size down to a lot of care and attention, but also a large amount of luck both with growth and weather.
FACT 7: Not All Potatoes are Gluten-free!
If you are on a gluten-free diet you might want to check what kind of potatoes you are using because not all of them are gluten-free! And even when you have a potato type that is gluten-free it will all depend on the way you cook them that will make the difference if they are gluten-free or not.
FACT 8: The History of The Name is…Confusing
While it is said the English word for ‘potato’ comes from Spanish ‘patata’ it is said the Spanish word ‘patata’ referred to sweet potatoes only and the two plants are not closely related. While I won’t print the name in this post they were once called something different to try and separate the 2 types of potatoes, you can read about that here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potato
FACT 9: Potato Blight Killed Millions of People
You might not know its actual name, but you will probably know it was the cause of the Great Famine in Ireland between 1845 and 1852. This shortage of spuds led to the death of millions of people who’s diet solely depended on them.
FACT 10: If it Wasn’t For Bees There Would be no Potatoes!
While some other insects do pollinate potato plants it is the humble Bumblebees and Solitary bees that do most of the work. So without bees there will be a lot fewer spuds!
Do you know anything more interesting about Potatoes? If you do why not leave a comment and let the world learn from your knowledge.