Potatoes are a popular vegetable that are prepared and eaten in many different ways. There are over 4000 varieties of potato and they come in many different shapes, sizes and colors. Most commonly potatoes have yellowish-white flesh, but potatoes with blue flesh are also available. Potatoes are the 4th largest crop in the world after rice, wheat and maize. The largest producer of Potatoes is China which produces approximately 70 million tons a year. Let’s take a look at where the potato originated from.
Where do potatoes come from?
It was once thought that potatoes were domesticated in separate locations in the Americas because they grow wild from the United States to Uruguay. However, recent evidence has shown that the potato originated from the region of southern Peru. It is estimated that they were first domesticated between 8000 BC and 5000 BC.
The spread of the potato
It is thought that potatoes were brought back to Europe by silver miners in the 16th century. They quickly spread throughout Europe and were included in the local cuisines. They were introduced into Africa by colonists and also became popular in this continent. They spread to Asia sometime after 1600 and were considered a delicacy for a time before they spread throughout the continent. Potatoes were introduced to North America sometime after 1600, but they were not widely grown until much later than this. Today potatoes are grown on every continent of Earth, apart from Antarctica.