The history of food can be fascinating. Thinking about the way food travels the globe and changes entire cultures–well, let’s just say there’s a lot to think about. Consider, for instance, Italy without tomatoes, squashes or peppers. Or Hungarian cuisine without paprika. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? And Europe without chocolate? Gasp! But all of those things and more were taken from the New World back to Europe.
Potatoes are so common we rarely pause to consider their origin. When conquistadors arrived in the Andes, the indigenous population were already cultivating thousands of varieties. It has taken hundreds and hundreds of years for the typical consumer in the United States to find more than three varieties in the local supermarket. That’s an unforgivably long trip.
Garlic mashed potatoes, potatoes au gratin, potato salads, potato pancakes–all on my list of Great Food. Do you have a favorite?