Fun Facts about Potatoes

  • The potato is more universally grown than any other food crop.
  • At one time, the Scots refused to eat potatoes. Why? Because potatoes weren't mentioned in the Bible!
  • The Incas used the potato to treat injuries. They also thought it made childbirth easier.
  • Potatoes were often eaten aboard ship to prevent scurvy, a disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C.
  • Louis XVI of France wore potato flowers in his buttonhole to stimulate interest in the plant.
  • In the late 1500s, the Spanish thought potatoes were a kind of a truffle; they called them "tartuffo."
  • Eighteenth-century agronomist Antoine-Auguste Parmentier used reverse psychology to convince the French to accept the potato as a safe food. He posted guards around potato fields during the day to prevent people from stealing them—but he left those same fields unguarded at night. Every night, thieves would sneak into the fields and leave with sacks of potatoes.