• Thu
  • Jul 31, 2014
  • Updated: 1:09pm

A potato a day keeps those bad germs away

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 July, 2012, 12:00am

Did you know that potatoes are the fourth-largest food crop in the world after rice, wheat and maize? And they contain many healthy vitamins and minerals including fibre, which is very important in your diet.

Where did the spud come from?

It seems the good old potato first grew in Peru between 7,000 and 10,000 years ago.

When the Spanish invaded Peru, one of the prizes they brought back to Europe was the potato. And from there, they were taken by European sailors all over the world.

How to eat them

You can cook potatoes 'in their jackets', which means boiled or baked in their skins. If you add some baked beans and cheese, it makes a tasty meal. Another delicious way to eat them is boiled and mashed up with milk, butter and salt.

The most famous way to eat potatoes is in fish and chips - there is nothing more tasty than a piece of fried fish eaten with slices of hot potato chips!

But the most popular potato of all is the potato crisp. These are thin slices of potato, fried quickly in oil and then salted. They are then put in plastic bags and sold as a snack to millions of children (and adults) all over the world.

History says chef George Crum invented potato crisps in 1853 when an angry customer sent his potatoes back saying they were too thick. Crum was so angry that he cut them into very thin pieces and sent them back. The customer and other guests loved them.

Celebrate King Potato!

People all over the world will celebrate the potato on National Potato Day - August 19.

Fans of this vegetable will gather around to share stories and swap recipes with each other.

In Ireland, it's the national vegetable and they encourage everyone to eat at least one potato on National Potato Day. They even play 'spud games' on Merrion Square in Dublin to show just how serious they are about their potatoes.

And the Americans will tell you on National Potato Day that more than 20 billion kilograms of potatoes are picked in the United States each year and they'll be mashed, baked or fried!

Spinach and tuna potato bake

Lick your lips and please your friends with this easy and tasty recipe!

Ingredients

1 large jacket potato per person

grated cheddar cheese

1 can of tuna in brine

2 teaspoons of butter

120g of spinach leaves

1 egg

horseradish

cream

How to prepare the dish

Wash the potato and then prick it all over with a fork. Cook in microwave for five minutes. Cool and cut in half. Scoop out the middle into a dish. Mash potato and cheese. Quickly fry spinach and add butter. Add these and all the other ingredients to the mix. After mixing, put in potato shell and bake in oven for 15 minutes.

Tip

You can do most of this before your guests arrive, and then just put the potato in the oven at the last minute!

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