Vegetable of the Week: Potato

– Potatoes are starchy tubers grown from a nightshade plant called Solanum tuberosum
– Potato plants are flowering plants with flowers of many different colours such as white, red, purple, pink, and blue
– A potato’s colour is generally determined by the colour of its flower
– On average, potato plants grow to be approximately 60 cm tall
– Potato tubers grow as a result of both cross-pollination (carried out by insects) and self-fertilisation
– Tubers can be grown using seed, which results in a new variety of potato, or from pieces of other tubers (including one or two “eyes”), which produce a potato that is a clone of its parent
– Potatoes are best grown in a cooler environment with less direct sunlight
– Potatoes can be poisonous for humans if consumed when green
– Potatoes are native to the Andes mountains and were first cultivated by the Inca
– Potatoes became an important food source for the Inca and Mapuche
– In the Andes in Peru and Bolivia, potatoes exposed to cold air become frozen into chuño, which can be kept frozen and stored for years underground
– Chuño may be stored without losing any nutritional value
– Potatoes were not known in Europe until the fall of the Inca Empire and colonisation of South America
– After being introduced to Europe, the potato has since become the world’s fourth most important food crop
– Potatoes were the first vegetable to be grown in outer space
– The biggest potato producers today are China, India and Russia

devilledpotato

Deviled Potatoes
Makes 12 servings
Ingredients:
6 new potatoes, halved (peeling is optional, potatoes should be similar size as eggs or a little bit larger)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons mayonnaise (or vegan mayonnaise to make vegan)
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
Dash garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
Dash turmeric (optional, for colour)
Paprika, for dusting (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease a cookie sheet. Coat all sides of each potato with olive oil. Place potatoes face down on prepared cookie sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, or until soft (but not too mushy).
2. While the potatoes are roasting, mix the rest of the ingredients (except paprika) together. When the potatoes are done, allow to cool a bit, and then use a sharp knife to cut into the flat side of each potato and then hollow it out with a spoon. You want to be left with a little cup-shaped potato.
3. Add the scooped-out potato to your mayo/mustard mix and blend well. You can then fill the hollowed out potato shells with the mixture piping it on with a cake decorating bag, or do it like he did and just blop it in there. Dust each potato with paprika.
(Recipe adapted from: http://vegweb.com/recipes/my-husbands-deviled-egg-solution-potato-angels)

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