ONCE UPON A TIME ... THE POTATO
The potato has not always been part of European menus.
Cultivated by the Indians, and
known as 'papas', it used to be preserved for several years in a peculiar
form, the 'chunio'. It was introduced to Spain in the 1530's (first as
medecine) from where it spread to Europe. Parmentier
contributed to introducing the potato to France, and to developing
Not very tasty, unusual to cereal-eaters, it first food of the poor, useful against hunger. In 1846, however, the potato downy mildew caused a famine in Ireland.
In 1992, Europeans consumed on
average 110 kg cereals and 80 Kg potatoes per head and year.