The variety of potatoes

Posted on 2 min read

What do we know about potatoes? Well, pretty much everything: tubers were domesticated by indigenous people of South America in the area of modern Peru and Bolivia, introduced to Europe in the 16th century by the Spanish, who gave the potato the name of patata – a hybrid of batata (sweet potato) and papa (potato). Potatoes were once called bastards potatoes as opposed to the common potatoes which are now called sweet potatoes. Yeah, it’s natural to get lost in botanists’ references of the past. But today everything is so easy, right? Well, actually, not. There are more than 5’000 potato varieties worldwide, with almost 4’000 of them being of some agricultural and culinary significance to people. Really hard to imagine that plethora of different spuds that can be transformed into hundreds of savoury and sweet dishes.

Potato is a ubiquitous and versatile root vegetable that has found itself in many areas of human activities. It can be turned into alcoholic beverages like akvavit and vodka, it’s used as a fodder for livestock, its starch is utilized in food industry and to make slurries at home, it can even be transformed into a personalized message parcel delivered by the company “Mail A Spud”. The potato is so important for humanity that we have a list of potato museums on Wikipedia.

Of course, choosing one dish out of a cornucopia of different preparations is a tremendously difficult task. So, we voluntarily decided to write about an Irish potato cake. Sometimes it’s called potato bread because to make it you’ll need baking powder. Other ingredients are potatoes, flour and salt. All you need to do is to simply make a new batch of mashed potatoes. But we think this dish is best made of leftover mash that’s been sitting in your fridge. Why? Because it’s always a good idea to create something new out of yesterdays’ feast. Take 500 gr / 2 cups of mashed potatoes and mix it with 200 gr / 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tsp of baking powder and a pinch of salt. Shape the dough into two balls and flatten them into 1 cm / ⅓ inch disks. Then cut it into 4 quarters and dry fry these cakes for 4 minutes on each side until brown. No oil is needed. Serve with salmon and sour cream, shrimp and cocktail sauce, tzatziki and lamb, cheese and some roasted peppers, or chili con carne. The possibilities are endless.

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