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All about Potatoes

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Did you know that on average each American eats more than 110 pounds of potatoes a year, according to the National Potato Council? Learn more about these super tubers and keep scrolling for a scrumptious recipe!

Super spuds

Potatoes have been grown for more than 4,000 years. Ancient civilizations in Peru were the first to grow potatoes. In fact, The English word potato comes from the American Indian word batata.

Spanish explorers called conquistadors traveled to South America and tasted potatoes. They introduced potatoes to Europe. At first, Europeans were afraid that potatoes were poisonous. Some people even thought that eating potatoes would cause leprosy! Luckily scientists realized this was not the case.

But, potatoes can be poisonous. If they're a greenish color, throw them out. The green comes from chlorophyll, which isn't dangerous but indicates a concentration of a nerve toxin called solanine.

There are many varieties of potatoes, and different varieties are especially good for different recipes. Russet potatoes are especially good for baking. Yukon Gold potatoes are excellent for making mashed potatoes. Red skin potatoes are great for roasting or for potato salad. What's your favorite variety?

Did you know . . .

Potato plants have pretty flowers.

Some potatoes have flesh that is bright purple and blue.

Potatoes are grown buried in dirt. This is why it is important to scrub them well! Use a clean dish towel to rub away dirt.

Potato wedges recipe

Think potatoes are best used for chips? These way-cool wedges will prove you wrong!

Serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 4 large Idaho potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

Scrub potatoes well. Cut each potato into 6-8 wedges. Cut in half lengthwise and cut into long wedges. Put all ingredients in a plastic container with lid or plastic zipper top bag. Close container or bag and carefully toss to coat. Remove potatoes from bag and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50-60 minutes.

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