As mentioned in the previous post, potatoes are native to the Andes mountains and over 3000 varieties are found there.. South American origins. The potato first made its appearance in Europe about 1570, having been brought from South America by the Spaniards. The potatoes originally introduced to Europe were quite knobby and unlike the smooth ovals we see today that is a result of cultivators working towards that end. When the potato was taken to Spain, only one variety was taken (Mann, 2011). Fun Facts About Potatoes Potato Facts: Origins of the Potato. One story claims that in 1765 pommes de terre, as they were called, were sometimes eaten by peasants, but peasants thought of them as extremely “coarse food.”To encourage people to eat potatoes, Parmentier decided to use a clever strategy. 28 July 1586: Britain is introduced to the potato On this day in 1586, Sir Thomas Harriot brought the first potato back to Britain from the 'New Found Land of Virginia'. In 1536 Spanish Conquistadors conquered Peru, discovered the flavors of the potato, and carried them to Europe. So that’s probably enough history on cheese and potatoes now- let’s get down … The potato is grown by planting a piece of itself. He planted a field of potatoes in Sablon, hired a day guard, and spread a false report that he was growing something extremely valuable. HOW DID THE POTATO GET TO EUROPE? The Inca Indians in Peru were the first to cultivate potatoes around 8,000 BC to 5,000 B.C. The potato, from the perennial Solanum tuberosum, is the world’s fourth largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and maize.. Potatoes Travelled to Europe by Way of Spanish Conquistadors In 1532 conquistadors from Spain came sailing onto the scene searching for vast riches to bring back to Europe. Francisco Pizarro was the first Spaniard to see the potato in its original environment (Mann, 2011). It has been argued that the first potatoes brought to Europe came from Chile (subspecies tuberosum), because they had been adapted to form tubers in the long summer days of southern temperate latitudes and would feel at home in Europe where the day length was similar. We've been in … So who did bring the potato to Ireland and when? Scientists have long known that it was a strain of Phytophthora infestans (or P. infestans) that caused the widespread devastation of potato crops in Ireland and northern Europe … When the Spanish Conquistadors didn't find the gold and silver they were looking for in the late 1400s and early 1500s, they quickly cornered the local potato market. Within this species, however, more than 600 different varieties are known in Europe. The potato gained a heightened intrinsic value overnight, and very quickly attracted widespread acceptance – today being one of the major foods in Europe and the rest of the world. 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