The potato is not your enemy

Potatoes at a Berlin farmer's market

Food and diet trends come and go, and recently potatoes have been placed in an “off-limits” category by some low-carb diets.  But the potato has sustained people for centuries, and such a simple and versatile vegetable deserves better.  They are also one of the early global foods.  Indigenous to the Andes, they were brought to Europe by Spanish explorers in the 1600’s and are now a major world food crop. Since I’m a fan of the potato, I dropped in at the Kartoffel (Potato) Museum while in Munich recently.  Here the spud gets its due, with exhibits detailing the history of the potato in Peru, and its use throughout Germany, where it is an important staple.  The walls are lined with artwork about this delicious tuber, even some pieces made of the potato itself.

From Belgium frites, to Spanish croquettes, to Italian gnocchi, it’s become an important part of the diet of many European countries.  Potatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin B6, and vitamin C, and they contain important minerals like potassium and manganese.  September is potato harvest time, and for those interested in eating with the seasons, now’s a good time to add potatoes to your menu.

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