Potatoes are a staple food in many parts of the world, ranked as the number four cultivated food in terms of annual production volume (behind only rice, wheat and maize). How many of these interesting and fun potato facts did you know?
- There are over 5,000 different types of potatoes in the world – 3,000 of which are found in South America: Spanish explorers discovered potatoes in South America and brought them back to Europe during the 16th century.
- The world’s number one potato producer is China, with a total output of just under 100 million tonnes in 2014: Total worldwide production is around 380 million tonnes. India (46 million tonnes) and Russia (31.5 million tonnes) are other major producers.
- The average human will consume over 33 kilograms (73 pounds) of potatoes in the course of one year: The highest rate of per capita potato consumption is in central/eastern Europe. There has been a recent shift in potato consumption into Asia.
- 2008 was declared as the International Year Of The Potato: This was to celebrate the fact that potatoes are such an important part of the diets of people all over the world. A number of potato-related events were held during the year.
- Did you know that potatoes can be used to make alcoholic drinks? Brewers have been using potatoes to make vodka and other types of alcohol for hundreds of years. No wonder Russia produces so many potatoes!
- Potatoes have even been honored in several famous works of art for their tasty goodness: In 1885, Vincent Van Gogh painted The Potato Eaters, a painting which, unsurprisingly, depicts a group of people eating potatoes. The painting was stolen from a gallery in 1991 before being recovered 30 minutes later.
Fun Potato Facts:
- The biggest potato in the world was grown by a British man named Peter Glazebrook in 2011: The massive potato, weighing nearly 5kg (10 pounds) was grown in Peter’s back garden. Peter had previously set the world record the previous year with a 4kg whopper.
- The world record for that fastest consumption of a bowl of mashed potatoes was set in 2014: A German man named André Ortolf was able to consume 348g in just 30 seconds.
- Do you want to know what the world’s largest potato salad is? Well, your prayers have been answered. The record was set in Latvia with the potato salad weighing in at over 3,000 kilograms. No, that’s not a typo.
Featured Image Source: Copyright Scott Bauer USDA ARS.