P-O-T-A-T-O

This morning, I asked my daughter, Laura; what I should write about in a 600 – 700 worded article. “Potatoes”, she replied instantly. We both lo-oo-o-v-ve potatoes, eating them, that is; ” in its many ways that it is prepared for eating.

Potatoes are best known for its underground movement…er…growth. It/they(potatoes) are made up of starch(which not many people talk about) and carbohydrates. When harvested, it is still alive. Keep it in a warm place with moisture and spuds start sprouting out. Keep them in a cool and dry place to prevent sproutings.

The Indians of Peru first cultivated this funny looking vegetable called ‘potato’ around 5000BC. There are now so many “models” of potato like the Idaho or Yukon, but to me; a potato is a potato.

Potatoes come with fancy names like “French fries” or “freedom fries” (when the U. S. had a bit of a tiff with the French), “hash browns” which are basically bits of potatoes clumped together as a sort of potato patty; jacket potatoes which are baked with its skin on and served that way.

Potato chips/crisps/wafer thin slices – well…that was an accidental creation of Chef George Crum in 1853. As the story goes he wanted to spite U. S. railroad mogul, Cornelly Vanderbilt, who was dining at the Cary Moon’s Lake House of which Crum was the head of the kitchen) in Saratoga, New York. Vanderbilt did not like the thick-cut potatoes on his plate and sent it back to the kitchen. Crum decided to cut these potatoes in thinly sliced pieces, fried them in oil and added some salt. Vanderbilt loved them. The habitually snack food was created.

One of the most common favourites especially in the U. K. is “bangers and mash” (sausages and mash potato) – yum. I think restaurants serve this all day long in many parts of the U. K..

In Malaysia, a favourite and usually available all year round, found in most parties, coffee and tea breaks, at suppers; in fact all day round is the famous potato currypuff. The basic ingredients are potato and flour, with the flour shaped puff stuffed with potato. Many come with a sort of “combed shape crinkle” on the curved end of the currypuff. There are many variants to the basic potato currypuffs. These include hard boiled eggs, chicken, beef, etc..

You can find potatoes in many types of curries and soups. Eating bread with spicy beef curry with potatoes is a must try. Potatoes add that special kind of flavour besides being a major ingredient in these curries.

The best dish with potatoes is corned beef. First, fry potato chips (now they are known as “Wedges” – sounds flashy. The potato chips as we now know them are also called “crisps” – sliced thinly, fried, with a sprinkling [more like a huge sprinkling] of salt) Then, the corned beef has to be fried dry, removing as much oil as possible. While frying, add green or red cut chilis, sliced white onions and also some chili and pepper powder. Towards the end of the corned beef frying, add in the potato chips/wedges and fry for a couple of minutes, to let the corned beef and fried potato chips inter-mingle with each other. This is the bestest!

When we were in school, we made potato stencils for school art. We’d cut a potato into half, carve designs into the potato insides, dip it in paint and make beautiful prints on artblock paper. Anyone remember this?

Couch potato is not a potato at all. It is a person who sits and watches a lot of television and does not have an active life. According to todayifoundout.com, Jan18 2012; Tom Lacino coined the term in the mid-1970s. He was a member of an organization combating the evils of healthy living and exercise. A minus point for potato?

Only recently did I hear that drinking the raw juice of potatoes can control the spread of cancer cells. At first I thought it was a bit far fetched, but when I checked with our friendly google; apparently, it is true. According to cloudmine, It is supposed to reduce the level of sugar in the blood. Consumption of fresh potato juice is a great way to boost immunity and helps in the removal of frequent headaches and menstrual pains. It is an effective substance in battling all types of diseases, such as liver and kidney diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, lumbago, rheumatic problems, etc.

Is there potato ice-cream, potato jam tarts or potato chocolate? I love potatoes; but to “muscle in” on the sanctity of ice-cream, jam tarts, and chocolate; I hope not.

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