All Hail the Glorious Potato!

Today in History, December 3, 1586:

Sir Thomas Harriott introduces the potato, previously only found in Columbia in South America, to England and Ireland. Sir Walter Raleigh pursued farming of the new staple in Ireland and before you knew it, they were every where.

This would become very important to American development as well. The potato became a staple food for the impoverished Irish populace. In the 1840’s a potato blight ruined the crops of potatoes in Ireland, resulting in a devastating famine. The famine caused approximately a million deaths and also approximately one million emigrants to America. The burgeoning Irish population in America would have a long lasting effect on our country, in labor, the military services and police forces.

Potatoes! Baked, French Fried, Potato soup, Potato Chips, Sweet Potato Pie, Potato Cakes, Mashed Potatoes, Scalloped Potatoes, Potatoes au Gratin….