|The inside and outside of a potato|
A potato contains a lot of starch and other carbohydrates. Potato usually has a light-brown or yellowish skin and is white or yellow inside. If the potato gets light on it, the tuber turns green and will be poisonous.
The potato is originally from the high and cool areas of the Andes mountains. It was grown as a food crop thousands of years ago. When Spanish conquistadores came to South America in the 1500s they took potatoes back to Europe.
It took nearly 200 years for the potato to become a widely grown crop. In the 1780s the farmers in Ireland began growing potatoes because they grew well in the poor soils. They also have most of the vitamins that people need to live. When a potato plague destroyed the crop in 1845 the Irish Potato Famine killed many people.
The potato plant is now grown in many different parts of the world. Captain William Bligh planted potatoes on Bruny Island, Tasmania in 1792. In Australia they are now the largest vegetable crop.
- Yukon Gold – developed in Canada
- Desiree – cream colored flesh, red skin
- Irish grown
Potatoes are almost always eaten cooked. People cook potatoes by boiling, baking, roasting, or frying them. French fries or "chips" are potatoes cut into long pieces and fried until they are soft. Potato chips, often called crisps, are potatoes cut into very thin round pieces and fried until they are hard.
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