July 3, 2019 1:44 am
A TOAST TO THE ‘TATERS
Delicious, Difficult, Exquisite Tubers
[An Unlikely History]
Can you even imagine a time without potatoes? Unimaginable. Impossible. The very thought shocks and outrages decent God-fearing folk. But in fact…
Europe, for all its majesty and cultural dominance (and bad manners abroad), never even heard of spuds until the Spanish conquistadores brought them back. Wiki says “History. The potato was first domesticated in the region of modern-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia between 8000 and 5000 BC. It has since spread around the world and become a staple crop in many countries.”
Peru?? Bolivia? Who would have thunkit?
If you study English History you will have heard of the gallant, fancily-dressed horndog aristocrat and favorite of Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Walter Raleigh. One fugly ucker. Won some wars and nearly lost his head (don’t make Queenie angry or you’ll be sorry.)
This fancy-dancy dude introduced both potatoes and tobacco to Europe, one from the Spanish enemy and the other from the Americas; hey, I bet you didn’t know that potatoes have nicotine in them! Just don’t try and smoke your spuds. Not very much nicotine in them actually but they are from the same huge Solanaceae botanical family, in which there are both tasty items like tomatoes, eggplant, bell and chili peppers…
…and a holiday’s worth of alkaloids, among them the deadly nightshade, whose poison will deliver you an exquisitely painful death. A little child nibbling on a couple of berries can die from it – ten more can stun and kill an adult.
What’s intriguing is that ruminant animals (fitted with more than one stomach) can happily graze on these plants: horses, cattle, sheep and goats munch on the deadly nightshade without a problem. Rabbits can also handle this visually beautiful plant. But for you or me or kitty or Fido it’s curtains…
Europeans even thought tomatoes were deadly poison, in the Middle Ages, as these ‘love apples’ (as they used to be called) are related to nightshade. Gullible northern folk thought they made you horny (and you thought Europeans were smart, right?)
As a matter of fact, however, green potatoes, too bitter for most folks to eat, do contain enough of the poisonous alkaloid solanine to carry you off across the River Styx to the Great Beyond.
We do a slow dissolve to Ireland in 1589, panning across the 40,000 acres of land near Cork, where the long-departed Sir Walter Raleigh played the mean practical joke of hooking the innocent Irish farmer on the tuber monoculture (later turning into an ecological catastrophe). That explains all the Irish cluttering up the rest of the world: it was head for any ship or starve to death.
It took nearly four decades for the potato to spread to the rest of Europe. Wassamatta wit youse guys? Eventually, agriculturalists in Europe found potatoes easier to grow and cultivate than other crops, the lazy cunts.
DIG THIS POTATO-HEAD
Astonishing. Imagine America, Asia or even Europe without potatoes? How did the ancients even survive without these hidden jewels, blooming beneath the soil? Some of which today are so rare and exquisite they sell for US$ 1100 a kilogram? Well, they are clearly… ‘special’… and so will your bill be when the waiter delivers it…
Some people are so fond of Murphys they would even pay to sleep in a ‘potato hotel’… Idaho sense of tuber humor, real authentic backwoods shit-kicker potato-growing country.
Dumbest people in the world. I was arrested at the Idaho border for trying to smuggle in books, but when it went to trial the judge threw the case out… because the prosecution couldn’t prove they were books.
Now for the background. Let’s hot rod it in our Time Machine, zipping back to Latinoamerica some ten thousand years. Very patiently, the Incas took this deadly plant, guaranteed to poison man or beast (which is how it kept itself from being eaten by grazing livestock), and domesticated it, turning it into a mild, polite and delicious foodstuff.
There is even a happy song celebrating the ‘tater.
It is evidence that everybody LOVES potatoes.
(Stop playing with your food, dude!)
Indeed, have you ever met anyone who could honestly state that he or she did not enjoy some form of the seriously starchy tuber? (This blog is starting to sound suspiciously serious.)
Let us not fail to sing a paean to the sweet potato, either – also known as a YAM:
These sugary, fibrous darlings are the basis of many delightful desserts, rich and healthy around the planet. Check out this recipe for sweet potatoes with tahini butter, from the NYT:
Potatoes are popular. They are humorous. They are ubiquitous. There are names for this king of the underworld which you could not imagine.
Oh what the hell. GO FOR IT:
spud dab baketater knish tatertaters bangers and mash yam praties fadgetator vatotis vegkartoshkatatemouse potatounit atonatanya potate sputnik jamato computater gnocchi dannae rutabaga aqua nettattietater totsspectator potating notsh pereicficveg outbutata pringle purdie potato withdrawal pogayto yams potatnopecotato youtuber bapfcwigan kebaboenpanis gindale ashkenazi pringles timebrotato chips gloucestershire nick sexpotato greasy taco cartosh kayammoth couch potato taydopotato head midget toss spoodle boink idaho profanity potato queen california potato chip spudnut stator nutsketchup chips redacted rissole crispamobiaphobia baked potato shady waffle meat two vegno showjo-jo bad word crispie spatata halvard couch-wife spuddie pomato jackie pojo shua chip butty sticky rice smashed haley sloppy joe pota penis butter worm indivigitator pootater potato cannons darth tater goguma potatoriffic grippos computatorian dawson lays flat chips wei xiang redacted rachel leah moskovitzbag of 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All right. ALL RIGHT! We joke around heap plenty in these here blogs but it’s NO JOKE to acknowledge and admire the NUTRITIONAL VALUE of the humble potato:
“Potatoes are low in calories — a medium-sized baked potato contains only about 110 calories. They are a good source of vitamins C and B6, manganese, phosphorus, niacin and pantothenic acid.’’
Check out this blog to get the low-down on the dangers and delights of the thousands and thousands of varieties of this magnificent tuber.
High-end potato growers even sponsor motorcycle racing!
YA UDAH BISTRO GERMAN FRIES
You know of the myriad meat & veggie delights available seven days a week, dawn-till-the-wee-hours, at YaUdah Bistro, now in Serpong as well as Menteng. Plenty of potatoes to wash down with beer, wine or other stuff stuffed down your eager gullet. We got German Fries, French Fries, Mashed Potatoes, Boiled Potatoes – every kind except dictators.
Take your choice and you’ll celebrate. Tasty, healthy & FUN.
What we do NOT offer is the disgusting Eurabian variation favored by the weird Belgians:
Ugh. Barf. Please, no. Mayonnaise on your French Fries? No, no way. Sacrilege. Belgian Fries? Never.