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Celebrate Potato Lovers Month with Fun Facts, Tips and Recipes

February 14 may be the day for lovers, but potato lovers can celebrate all month long. February is National Potato Lovers Month.

Join the celebration by learning how this lowly tuber – once worshipped by the Incas – went from being regarded as fit only for pig fodder to having a co-starring role in the traditional American meat and potatoes diet. Find out why the potato has come under fire by those skeptical of its nutritional value and what you can do to maximize its health benefits. Then showcase the tasty and versatile spud on your dinner table this February with new, healthier recipes that are sure to become family favorites.

Find out what else is being celebrated in February.


I heart potatoes.

I heart potatoes.

The History of the Potato

The potato, like those other dietary staples corn and tomatoes, originated in the Americas. The Incas called them "papas" and cultivated them as early as 500 B.C. in Peru and Chile. Potatoes were an important food source to the ancient Incas, who held them in such high regard they prayed to them and buried them with their dead.

Spanish conquistadors looking for gold in Peru found potatoes instead. Although they didn't much care for what they called bappatas (slang for "edible stones"), the Spaniards avoided scurvy and starvation by eating potatoes when other food sources dwindled. They carried potatoes back to Europe in 1565 and the Spanish sovereign eventually presented them to the pope. The pope had them examined by the botanist Clusius, who planted them and, not knowing quite what to make of the curious new plant that emerged, catalogued it as "taratufli," or little truffle.

Despite Clusius' comparison to a culinary delicacy, the potato mostly was shunned as it made its way around the European continent. People generally viewed the plant as evil because it was a member of the nightshade family (like poisonous mandrake and belladonna), and believed it caused leprosy, syphilis, and a whole host of other maladies. Outside of Ireland, where the potato was recognized early on as a solution to the endemic problem of famine, the tuber was used primarily as pig food.

It wasn't until the years preceding the French Revolution that the potato began to gain widespread acceptance. Antoine-Auguste Parmentier, a French army pharmacist, became an advocate for the potato after subsisting on it in a Prussian prison camp during the Seven Years' War. (The Germans believed if the potato was good enough for pigs, it was good enough for French soldiers.) Parmentier convinced others that the answer to growing popular unrest in France was feeding potatoes to the starving peasant population. Parish priests began promoting potato soup in the diet and King Louis XVI and his fashion-forward queen, Marie Antoinette, wore and decorated with potato flowers as a way to encourage people to eat the tubers. Soon people were so hungry they needed no encouragement. After the fall of the Bastille in 1789, the potato became a culinary symbol of the new French Republic and the rose beds in the Tuileries gardens were dug up and replanted with potatoes.

Blight destroyed much of the potato crop throughout Europe in the 1840s. The outbreak hit Ireland particularly hard where the poor working class relied primarily on the potato for subsistence. One million people died of starvation in Ireland and another million left for the United States and Canada.

Potatoes first arrived in America in 1621 in a crate of gifts from the Governor of the Bermudas to the Governor of Virginia. Scotch-Irish immigrants began planting them in the Colonies in the early eighteenth century and missionaries carried potatoes to Idaho in 1836 to teach native tribes to farm. After the Great Famine in Ireland, Americans spurned potatoes until American horticulturist Luther Burbank developed a disease resistant variety, the Russet Burbank, in 1872. With this development, and the development of an effective fungicide by a French botanist in 1883, the Idaho potato industry began to flourish.

The United States began large-scale industrial manufacturing of potatoes during World War II as new products like packaged potato chips and instant mashed potatoes were developed to feed the soldiers. Today the potato is the number one vegetable crop in the Unites States and the average American eats 117 pounds of potatoes a year. Idaho and Washington produce most of the 41.3 billion pounds of potatoes grown in America each year, trailed by Wisconsin, Colorado, and North Dakota.


Sources:

Vincent Van Gogh's The Potato Eaters (1885)

Vincent Van Gogh's The Potato Eaters (1885)

Are Potatoes Good For You?

The potato has developed a bad reputation over the years as a carb-heavy diet-buster. Popular diets such at Atkins and South Beach have denounced potatoes as "bad carbs" due to their high levels of starch and high glycemic index, which impacts blood sugar levels. But are they really that bad for you? The main problem with potatoes is the manner in which they are typically prepared – highly processed and cooked in fat. To make matters worse, they often are smothered with fatty toppings and covered in salt.

Potatoes lovers can take heart. When prepared in a healthy manner, the potato is a nutrient dense food with many benefits. Potatoes in the diet:

  • Promote heart health and reduce high blood pressure
  • Protect against cancer and inhibit tumor growth
  • Boost immunity and protect against the common cold
  • Regulate fluids and prevent water retention
  • Diminish fatigue

The potato is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C and potassium. One cooked medium potato contains roughly the same amount of vitamin C as a raw ripe tomato, two times more potassium than a banana, and twice as much fiber as a half cup of brown rice. Potatoes, particularly the red- and purple-skinned varieties, contain flavonoids that promote heart health and protect against certain cancers. Potatoes also are good sources of niacin, folate, iron, and copper.


Nutritional Comparison

 CaloriesTotal CarbohydratesDietary FiberProteinVitamin C (%DV)Vitamin B6 (%DV)Potassium (%DV)

Medium potato, baked

161

37 gr. (12% DV)

4 gr. (15% DV)

4 gr.

28%

27%

26%

Medium potato, boiled without skin

144

33 gr. (11%)

3 gr. (12%)

3 gr.

21%

22%

16%

Medium red-skinned potato, baked

154

34 gr. (11%)

3 gr. (12%)

4 gr.

36%

18%

27%

Medium banana, raw

105

27 gr. (9%)

3 gr. (12%)

1 gr.

17%

22%

12%

Medium red tomato, raw

22

5 gr. (2%)

1 gr. (6%)

1 gr.

26%

5%

8%

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

111

23 gr. (8%)

2 gr. (7%)

3 gr.

0%

7%

1%


Additional nutritional information.


Tips for a Healthier Potato

If you are concerned about potatoes' glycemic index, eat potatoes as part of a balanced meal with lean protein and non-starchy vegetables. Blood sugar levels are impacted by the entire meal, not one element of the meal. Dr. Arthur Agatston, author of "The South Beach Diet," suggests adding a dollop of low-fat cheese or sour cream to a baked potato to lessen the impact to your blood sugar levels.

Eat potatoes with the skins on for more fiber, potassium, iron and other nutrients. Make sure to scrub the potatoes well with a brush to remove dirt and grit.

Instead of frying potatoes in oil, make oven-baked "fries." Toss sliced potatoes in a little heart-healthy olive oil and bake in a 400°F oven for 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes, until crispy.

Avoid toppings like butter and sour cream that are high in saturated fat. Instead, top your baked potato with fresh salsa and diced avocado or mushrooms and onions sautéed in a little olive oil. Sprinkle green onions on top for an additional veggie boost.

When boiling potatoes for mashing, throw in some cauliflower. Mash the cauliflower into the potatoes for additional nutrients.

Buy organic. Potatoes are on the dirty dozen list of the most pesticide-contaminated produce. It's worth spending the money on organic if you are able.

Try one of these healthy recipes:


Potato, Leek and Tomato Soup

Potatoes and leeks are a match made in heaven. The tomato adds a new twist to this old favorite and gives the soup a lovely rose color. It would make an elegant first course for a Valentine's Day dinner.

Potato, leek and tomato soup makes an elegant first course for a special meal

Potato, leek and tomato soup makes an elegant first course for a special meal

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 large leeks, white part only, cleaned and chopped

1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence

4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced thin

4 cups chicken stock

2 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (or 1 cup canned diced tomatoes with juice)

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Heat oil in soup pot over medium-low heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in Herbes de Provence and cook for another minute.

Add potatoes, chicken stock and tomatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Puree until smooth using an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper. Thin with additional stock if necessary.

Reheat and ladle into warmed bowls.

Makes 4 servings.


Spicy Roasted Potato Wedges

This great weeknight dish is a healthier alternative to French fries, made with good-for-the-heart garlic and olive oil. Serve with roasted chicken or hamburgers.

Spicy roasted potato wedges make a great weeknight side dish

Spicy roasted potato wedges make a great weeknight side dish

Ingredients

4 medium potatoes (waxy potatoes work best for roasting)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Juice of 1/2 lime

1 teaspoon Sriracha (substitute any other bottled hot sauce, like Tabasco)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°F. Scrub potatoes. Cut in half lengthwise and cut each half into 2 or 3 wedges, depending on the size of the potato. Arrange potatoes in a single layer in a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, lime juice, and sriracha. Pour dressing over potatoes and toss so all wedges get coated. Roast in a 400°F oven for 30-40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes, until crispy and brown.

Makes 4 servings.


Healthier Twice-Baked Potatoes

Lighten up an old favorite with Greek yogurt in place of sour cream and low-fat cheese. Use a small amount of bacon for a little treat, since everything's better with bacon.

Lighten up your potato recipes by substituting low-fat ingredients and toppings

Lighten up your potato recipes by substituting low-fat ingredients and toppings

Ingredients

4 large russet potatoes

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped green onion

1/2 cup grated low-fat cheddar cheese

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

2 slices cooked bacon, chopped

Salt and pepper

Chopped fresh chives

Preparation

Preheat over to 375°F. Scrub potatoes and rub generously with olive oil. Bake on oven rack until softened, about 45-55 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on baking rack.

When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut a 1/2-inch slice off the top of each potato. With a spoon, scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/2-inch shell with skin.

Place the potato flesh in a small bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Please the potato shells into an 8x8 baking sheet. Fill each shell with the potato and cheese mixture. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with chives.

Makes 4 servings.


Prize-winning potatoes on display at the Iowa State Fair

Prize-winning potatoes on display at the Iowa State Fair

Comments

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on April 11, 2013:

Thanks, Au fait. Potatoes took a big hit with the low carb diet craze but they really are a good source of nutrition. And can be prepared so many wonderful ways.

C E Clark from North Texas on March 31, 2013:

I love potatoes! Fried, boiled, baked, mashed, etc.

I learned from this hub that potatoes can prevent scurvy. I didn't know that. I thought one had to eat green or leafy vegetables to do that, but I Googled it when I read what you wrote about keeping the sailors from getting that disease and turns out the Vitamin C in a potato is just enough to keep people healthy if they eat enough of the potatoes. I knew from my nutrition class that potatoes contain Vitamin C, but didn't equate that with scurvy prevention.

You have a lot of good recipes here, too. Prepared in a healthful way potatoes are a great source of important vitamins and a comfort food for lots of people too. Great hub!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on January 10, 2013:

Thanks for sharing, midget. Potato Lovers Month is coming up in just a few weeks!

Michelle Liew from Singapore on January 05, 2013:

Thanks for the historical facts and recipe! WIll pin and try it out, because I want to try something different for potatoes I have in my fridge now. Thanks for sharing!! I am passing it on.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on June 04, 2012:

Thanks for reading, commenting, and voting, Vellur. I hope you get to satisfy your potato cravings soon!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on June 04, 2012:

Love potatoes. Your hub has made my mouth water. Great recipes. Voted up.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on June 04, 2012:

Thanks, Kelley. I'm glad you stopped by. Hope the kids enjoy the soup!

kelleyward on June 03, 2012:

Fantastic hub Deborah! I stay away from potatoes because I have diabetes and I tend to react to them. But I just might try making a potato soup for my kids! Voted up and Shared! Take care, Kelley

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on April 06, 2012:

Thanks, Audra! I made the unhealthy version of that recipe the other night for my husband's birthday using sour cream instead of yogurt and lots of butter. But quite tasty.

iamaudraleigh on April 06, 2012:

I love all kinds of potatoes! Well, I only like sweet potatoes as french fries! I am excited to try you recipe for Healthier Twice-Baked Potatoes...looks awesome! Voted up and shared!!!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 19, 2012:

Thanks, Tina. I wrote this for my husband because he thinks potatoes are unhealthy. So I set out to prove him wrong!

Christina Lornemark from Sweden on February 19, 2012:

Potatoes are so useful and tasty and you have done a fabulous article about them! The recipes look so tasty and the article is very well presented! I like that you point out how good they are for health since I am constantly reminded about the need to cut down on potatoes because of the carbohydrates in every diet plane I read. Thanks for the great information and a very good hub!

Tina

Gloria from France on February 18, 2012:

When I get bored I love to cook. And believe me it does get boring here in the winter.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 18, 2012:

Sounds like you've been cooking up a storm this week, Gloshei! Thanks for the feedback.

Gloria from France on February 18, 2012:

Me again Debs 'twice baked' they were great always on my list now. Thanks again friend.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 17, 2012:

Thanks for the nice comment, SanneL!

SanneL from Sweden on February 17, 2012:

The potato has great versatility. There are so many different ways to prepare them and I love them all!!

You have put together some interesting facts and historical information on the potato. I enjoyed the great recipes as well. This hub truly deserved its Hub of the Day Award! Thanks!

Jazmine on February 11, 2012:

Potato is one of favorite root crop. It's really versatile and good for the health. I'm still trying my best to cook and I'd like to use some of your recipes. Thanks!

Rosalie O'Neal from California on February 11, 2012:

Great potatoes! I especially like the wedges. I am definitely a potato eating fool. Now that I know they are good for me, I will enjoy them even more. Very well written and informational hub. Thanks for sharing!

daleamy from Spring Hill, TN on February 10, 2012:

I loved the photos you chose, especially the heart shaped potato! Very interesting information. Well written and enjoyable to read!

Don Odiorne on February 10, 2012:

Loved the article and recipes. Here are some other February Potato Lover's recipes from bloggers: http://blog.idahopotato.com/

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 10, 2012:

Theastrology, I love potatoes in Indian food - aloo ghobi is one of my favorite Indian dishes. I hope I'm spelling that correctly.

Techygran, excellent point about potatoes being gluten free. I was going to mention it in the hub and forgot.

Marla, potatoes au gratin are great, too. So many wonderful ways to preapre the potato.

Thank you, Lori, Cindy, wlionpage.

wlionpage from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India on February 10, 2012:

Yes me tooo

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on February 09, 2012:

Congratulations on hub of the day! I love my potatoes also.

Marla J Neogra from Parkersburg, West Virginia on February 09, 2012:

Nice hub. I actually prefer potatoes au gratin.

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on February 09, 2012:

Great hub! I notice that the recipes are gluten-free as well, which is a bonus for anyone with gluten sensitivity! Thank you!

theastrology from New Delhi on February 09, 2012:

Potato is one of the most important vegetable of India. I really very pleased to reading this hub. Thanks for sharing such interesting information.

LoriSoard from Henryville, Indiana on February 09, 2012:

Interesting topic. Love potatoes.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 09, 2012:

Thanks for your comments, LL Woodard and dkm.

MsLizzy, how about a black bean taco potato? Mmmm, I may just have to try that. I'll look for your hub, too.

dkm27 from Chicago on February 09, 2012:

I love potatoes. Delightful little vegetable. Glad it has its own month. The recipes sound wonderful. Thank you.

L.L. Woodard from Oklahoma City on February 09, 2012:

Who knew there was this much to know about potatoes? Certainly appreciate being informed. Great hub.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on February 09, 2012:

Hi Deborah--I pretty much do that--except that I'm a vegetarian, so no meat. Sometimes, "Boca" or "Meal Starters" veggie crumbles, though.

I wrote a hub about my favorite baked potato dish--'baked potato extraordinaire' I call it. ;-) A meal in itself. Pretty healthy, if I were to cut back on the cheese and dressing. ;-)

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 09, 2012:

Thank you, MsLizzy and Faceless. I'm glad you both enjoyed it.

MsLizzy, have you ever tried a taco baked potato? Add taco meat and toppings like chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, green onions, and a little dollop of sour cream. It makes a great meal all by itself. You may enjoy it, since you like veggie and cheese toppings on your baked potatoes.

Kate P from The North Woods, USA on February 09, 2012:

Voted up, awesome, and interesting. A fantastic hub worthy of its Hub of the Day Award!

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on February 09, 2012:

Congratulations on HOTD! Well-deserved!

I love potatoes, and I've known for years about "you should eat the skins," but I only do so on baked or homd-fried potatoes for some reason. You are so right--the "problem" with potatoes isn't with the potato, but the toppings.

Unfortunately, I do like "a little potato under my butter," or else I make a cheese-loaded (with veggies) baked version.

As for your poll, I can't choose just one.. I like potatoes fixed all kinds of ways..it just depends on my mood of the moment.

Your recipes look and sound delicious.

Voted up, useful, interesting, awesome and shared.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 09, 2012:

Thanks, Susan. I loved researching the history of the potato. Fascinating!

susanm23b on February 09, 2012:

Excellent, well-written hub. I especially liked the historical information that you included. Great recipe ideas too. Congrats on your Hub of the Day:)

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 09, 2012:

Thank you all for your comments.

Faruksohel, what are some of your favorite potato recipes from your country? Would love to hear about them!

RTalloni, thanks for stopping back and for the well wishes.

Amber, that sounds interesting. Every St. Patrick's Day I make a traditional Irish dish called colcannon made with potatoes and cabbage to celebrate my Irish heritage. (Gee, do you suppose that's where I get my love of potatoes?) I wonder if it's similar to your recipe.

Lastheart, glad to be of help. Hope dinner turns out great!

Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord on February 09, 2012:

I love this hub...thanks for helping me out for tonight's dinner.

Amber Killinger on February 09, 2012:

Great hub. I do love potatoes. I have a favorite recipe I found online called "Potato and Cabbage Thing" which is fairly simple to make and tastes great. I've tried a similar version to your oven baked potatoes, spraying with PAM olive oil for a very light coating. They come out pretty good that way too.

RTalloni on February 09, 2012:

Just checking back to say congrats on Hub of the Day!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 09, 2012:

Thanks, John. You know, I've never had fricassee even though it sounds like something I'd really like. I will check out some recipes. Thanks so much for the suggestion and the comment.

John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on February 09, 2012:

Hi Deborah, great article.

I love potatoes in everything. Potatoes are also excellent in fricassee (French word for "in pieces") of chicken pork or beef....

Take care

John

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 09, 2012:

Thank you, ComfortB. Appreciate the vote up!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 09, 2012:

Thanks, waleeds! Yes, who knew that the potato had such a storied past?

Comfort Babatola from Bonaire, GA, USA on February 09, 2012:

I voted 'Baked', usually with a lot of butter and sour cream on it (unhealthy).

Very informative. Thanks for sharing. Voted Up!

waleeds on February 09, 2012:

beautiful presentation and selection of a topic Deborah. it is no surprise that this is declared to be Hub of the Day. great pictures and what a history these potatoes have got. i never think for a split of a second while eating french-fries the historical perspective of these eatables. WOW thanks for sharing and Voted Up.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 09, 2012:

Thanks for stopping back, Vinaya! I'm honored to have this hub selected. I put a lot of time and love (potato love) into it. : )

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 09, 2012:

Thanks so much for checking it out, Victoria. Appreciate the comments and votes.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on February 09, 2012:

I take this opportunity to reciprocate your appreciation.

I had read and commented on this well written article yesterday and now I congratulate you for the hub of the day.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on February 09, 2012:

I love potatoes. What a well-written hub with great presentation. Congrats on hub of the day. I gave you lots of votes on this one and will bookmark this one for the recipes! thanks!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 09, 2012:

Thanks, Amber! Isn't that painting great?

Amber White from New Glarus, WI on February 09, 2012:

I love potatoes!! You have put together a really interesting hub, loved the inclusion of the "Potato Eaters" painting - I basically have an art history minor. Very well put together.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 09, 2012:

Thank you, tillsontitan. I really appreciate the great comment and votes.

Mary Craig from New York on February 09, 2012:

You did the potato proud. This hub has more information than a twice baked potato! The history, the pictures, the general information AND the recipes. This is a AAA hub. Voted all the buttons to show how great it is. Like a good mystery it has all the necessary elements. No wonder this is a hub of the day!!!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 09, 2012:

Thank you, Kezber!

Kezber from Montreal, Canada on February 09, 2012:

Very interesting post! Thank you

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 09, 2012:

Thanks, Cyndi. I was surprised to learn how maligned the poor little potato has been through history, even today. That's why I wanted to compare its nutritional value to other foods that are considered healthy.

Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on February 09, 2012:

Hello Deborah, What great information about the potato. It really is very versatile and very healthy for you. Thank you for the information and the recipes.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 09, 2012:

Thanks, pstraubie. I always say if I was stranded on a desert island and could take only one food with me, it would be the potato!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on February 09, 2012:

Who doesn't love love love a p o t a t o???? And what fun...a whole month to showcase the spud!!! I cannot wait to try out these recipes ...am always looking for something new. Thanks for sharing all of the info about potatoes here. Congrats on hub of the day!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 09, 2012:

Thanks you for your nice comments. wlionpage. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 09, 2012:

Thanks, Keri. Yes, I took that picture last summer and have been waiting for just the right time to use it. And thanks to Homesteadbound's great hub I learned about Potato Lovers Month and knew right away this was the perfect time.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 09, 2012:

LOL, MP50. I've been known to eat leftover mashed potatoes straight from the refrigerator from tme to time. Thanks for the comment.

wlionpage from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India on February 09, 2012:

Oh... Thanks for such a wonderful hub. I appreciate your writes and efforts and congrats for receiving Hub of the Day Award. I read this one and really have enjoy it. I read all comments as well. I found great hub.

Keri Summers from West of England on February 09, 2012:

Great Hub. I learnt new stuff about history. I have to ask, which came first, the hub, or the curiously heart-shaped potato? Best illustration there could ever be for potato lovers' month! Oh, I just read back through the comments and you've answered this. The potato was first!

MP50 on February 09, 2012:

Useful and informative Hub, I love potato cooked anyway, I also like to eat cold mashed potato.

Voted up thanks for sharing.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 08, 2012:

Thanks, Simone. I love history in general, and food history can be really fun.

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on February 08, 2012:

Hahaa, bappatas = edible stones. That's hilarious! Fascinating Hub, Deborah. I learned a bunch!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 08, 2012:

Thanks, Gloshei. Hope you enjoy the twice-baked potatoes. I like making them for dinner guests.

Gloria from France on February 08, 2012:

Wow Debs what a great hub, I love potatoes and they are so versatile. Must try the twice baked recipe.

Thanks for sharing voted up and away!!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 08, 2012:

Thanks, Vinaya. Sorry to hear about your poor harvest. We grow potatoes in our little garden. It's small enough to keep them watered when it's dry. Our biggest problem is the potato beetles that eat the leaves. I don't use pesticides, so I try to pick them off by hand! Hope you enjoy the recipes.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on February 08, 2012:

I grow potato in my farm. This year harvest was poor due to minimal rainfall.

I did not know the history, and all the facts.

I'm going to try this recipe.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 06, 2012:

Thanks, Movie Master. I hope you enjoy the recipe. I appreciate your kind words and vote.

Movie Master from United Kingdom on February 06, 2012:

Hi Deborah, we eat a lot of potatoes in our house, your spicy wedges look and sound delicious so we will certainly be trying those.

Lots of interesting facts on the potato, I've learnt a lot!

Thank you for all the work you've put into a great hub and voting up.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 06, 2012:

Thanks, homesteadbound. And thanks again for giving me the idea with your February celebrations hub! I had the photo of the heart-shaped potato we dug last summer and was looking for the perfect way to use it in a hub.

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on February 06, 2012:

Hello, DeborahNeyens - This is a great hub. You put a lot of research and work into creating this fabulous hub. I am linking it back to the February hub. Thanks for giving me the shout out! Great job!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 06, 2012:

Pcunix, I thought about adding a section on growing potatoes, but the hub already was getting too long. We do grow them in our garden, but have the same issue as you about storage. If we keep them in the garage, which would be the best place temperature-wise, the mice get to them. If we put them in a closed container with a lid to keep the mice out, they get mushy. So we haven't grown a huge quantity. Someone was just telling me over the weekend to bury them in sand to store them. Seems like a bit of a hassle. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 06, 2012:

Thanks, Jackie. It's funny that you like them but not in soup. I do like fried potoes, too, both the thicker cut American fries and hash browns. My husband makes killer hash browns with onions.

Tony Lawrence from SE MA on February 06, 2012:

I've been thinking of growing potatoes. With the "barrel" method, you can grow quite a crop in a small space. The only problem is that we don't have a suitable place to store them for a long period.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on February 05, 2012:

Potatoes were certainly a main staple in my childhood with four younger brothers. I have always loved them in every way except in soup, and I just don't know why. Fried with onions are the yummiest I don't often allow myself but now maybe I won't feel so guilty with all your information. Great info, thanks!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 05, 2012:

That would be great. Can't wait to read yours!

jenubouka on February 05, 2012:

Well as they say great minds think alike...

I am in the middle of a potato hub, yet as I read this awesome informative hub, they are very different.

What a great collection of history, nutrition, and recipes. I would love to include a link in mine if you don't mind..

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on February 05, 2012:

Thanks, everybody! I've always said if I was stranded on an island and could only take one kind of food with me, I'd take potatoes. That might be the Irish in me!

RTalloni on February 05, 2012:

Good stuff, both potatoes and your detailed hub on potatoes! Was going to try some wedges this weekend but got side tracked. Thanks for the reminder. Can you imagine a world without potatoes??? Voted up!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on February 05, 2012:

Fantastic! I love potatoes. The Irish survived the famine eating potatoes. Voted up and SHARED!

rjsadowski on February 05, 2012:

A great deal of good information.

Arlene V. Poma on February 05, 2012:

Great Hub and recipes. We eat potatoes more than we do rice, so I'm looking forward to trying your recipes. Voted up and everything else.

Beth Pipe from Cumbria, UK on February 05, 2012:

Interesting hub. Always on the lookout for new recipes for potatoes and love the idea of the Twice Baked ones.

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