Potato

Potato Podcasts Parts 1 & 2

The aroma of McDonald’s French fries make just about anyone’s mouth water, but how is it possible that they’re made from such a bland vegetable? The potato is a commodity that is used in just about every culture around the world. It is the main ingredient in popular American snacks such as French fries and potato chips. So that means most people have eaten plenty of potatoes in their lives! However, there are few consumers of this vegetable that know where it came from and how it became such a basic part of their diet. Without the original discovery of the potato in the Andes Mountain region, the world would not have been exposed to the delicious food. It once held together and fed most of the Irish people and was the sole item of both their economy and diet. Now it is simply a common ingredient in many recipes, and is served as a side to almost any dish.

Our first of the podcasts on the potato focuses on the history of the potato itself. It delves not only into the origin, but also into the long journey it took around the world and how it affected the Inca, Irish, and American cultures. The second podcast focuses on one major epidemic that was caused by the potato blight: the Irish potato famine. It gives a better understanding of how harsh the conditions were for the Irish and goes into the cause and effects of the famine.

Taylor Rauls, Tyler Randall, Amanda Newman

 

IMPORTANT SOURCES

Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. Black Potatoes: The Story Of The Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005.

Oxford, Edward. “The Great Famine.” American History 31, no. 1 (March 1996): 52.

Pearson, Kathy L. “Potato: A History of the Propitious Esculent.” Journal of World History 22, no. 2 (June 2011): 372–374.

Pollan, Michael. “Botany of Desire.” PBS, October 30, 2009. http://video.pbs.org/video/1283872815/.
“The History of Potato Chips.” Food History, last modified August 4, 2011. http://www.kitchenproject.com/history/AmericanHeritageRecipes/PotatoChip.htm.