Potato Information and Resources
September 24, 2014
Below are some websites, books, and various resources I've perused to learn about potatoes. I'll probably add more to this list in the future.
Potato: A History of the Propitious Esculent by John Reader. This book is a narrative history of the potato, rather than a linear history. Some chapters start with a 'fact' then go through the effort of showing how that fact was disproved/corrected. Thus it's not the best reference book in the world (hard to look stuff up and know you've found the real answer), but it does have tons of great information.
Potato: A Global History by Andrew F. Smith. This book has a concise history of the potato that ends on page 52. Subsequent chapters talk about the potato as a food source (how it's eaten around the world), the potato as a crop in the past and today. There is a final chapter of recipes.
1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann. This best-selling book about "how European settlements in the post-Colombian Americas shaped the world." There is a chapter called "The Agro-Industrial Complex" about the history of the potato and its spread around the world, and how the prevention of potato blight neccesitated the agro-chemical industry we know today.
Info and History Websites
A long story about the history of the potato in Smithsonian magazine.
LimaEasy - Guide to some Peruvian potatoes.
The seven main types of potatoes in the US.
Idaho Potato Museum (since 1912!)
Try Swedish! A website about Swedish products and good information about Swedish potatoes.
Potato Research and Promotional Organizations
The International Potato Center based in Peru. "The International Potato Center was founded in 1971 as a root and tuber research-for-development institution delivering sustainable solutions to the pressing world problems of hunger, poverty, and the degradation of natural resources. CIP seeks to achieve food security, increased well-being, and gender equity for poor people in the developing world."
The Potato Council (UK) "The Potato Council is part of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board www.ahdb.org.uk working on behalf of British potato growers and purchasers to promote potatoes."
Potato Goodness "The United States Potato Board (USPB) is the nation’s potato marketing and research organization."
The National Potato Council "The National Potato Council is the advocate for the economic well-being of U.S. potato growers on federal legislative, regulatory, environmental, and trade issues."
Karlsson's is a Swedish potato vodka and the sponsor of this research project into the potato. To learn more about it, visit the brand's website, or read about my visit to the distillery: How potatoes are harvested and how Karlsson's vodka is blended from seven individually-distilled potato varietals.
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