history of potatoes in ireland

The potato was first domesticated in the region of modern-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia[1] between 8000 and 5000 BC. On the other hand, cash-oriented landlords realised that grain was much easier to ship, store and sell, so both grain and potatoes coexisted.[31]. In the twelfth century, Pope Adrian IV, the only English pope, gave control of Ireland to King Henry II of England. French physician Antoine Parmentier studied the potato intensely and in Examen chymique des pommes de terres ("Chemical examination of potatoes") (Paris, 1774) showed their enormous nutritional value. [38] Potatoes are Canada's most important vegetable crop; they are grown commercially in all its provinces, led by Prince Edward Island. [42] The collection of Contreras became the groundwork for the gene bank of Chilean potatoes at the Austral University of Chile in Valdivia. 1771 – Antoine-Augustin Parmentier (1737-1813), a French military chemist and botanist, won a contest sponsored by the Academy of Besancon to find a food “capable of reducing the calamities of famine” with his study o… Domestication, spread, and popular usage of the potato in history, "Histoires de légumes" by M. Pitrat and C. Foury, Institut National de la recherche agronomique, 2003, p. 167. However, the cash crop of the Andean people was chuño: created by letting potatoes freeze overnight, then allowing them to thaw in the morning. [16] For the Spaniards the potato was regarded as a food for the natives: the Spanish conquerors speak most favourably of the potato but they recommend it especially for the natives who have to do the heaviest jobs. This meant that potatoes were barred from large-scale cultivation because the rules allowed only grain to be planted in the open fields. Sadly, local population of those countries looked at potato as absolutely unneeded, weird, poisonous (only roots of the plant were edible, which was totally unheard off in Europe), and in some cases as downright evil. [25] Shipping records from 1567 show that the first place outside of Central and South America where potatoes were grown were the Canary Islands. Along with several other foods that either originated in the Americas or were successfully grown or harvested there, potatoes sustained European populations. This Kartoffelbefehl (potato order) termed the unfamiliar tuber "a very nutritious food supplement." The Great Irish Potato Famine was a time in history that had huge consequences. Despite the important role the potato was later to play in Irish history, we still don’t know how the potato reached our shores. [25], In higher regions of Rwanda, potatoes have become a new staple food crop. However the potato might have come to Ireland, though, by the 1700s it was an integral part of meals for at least a third of Ireland’s population. Ugent D., S. Pozorski and T. Pozorski. Sir Walter Ralegh, Sir Francis Drake and John Hawkins, have all been credited with introducing the potato into Europe. The potato arrived in an hour of need in Irish history. As colonialists promoted them as a low-cost food, they were also a symbol of domination. The History of Potatoes. How are primary school students coping since classrooms reopened? Still, in their long history of suffering, nothing was ever so terrible as what the Irish endured during the Great Potato Famine that struck the country in the 1840s and produced massive upheaval for several years. The potato diffused widely after 1600, becoming a major food resource in Europe and East Asia. The poor should be quite content with this foodstuff. [7][8] Aside from these remains, the potato is also found in the Peruvian archaeological record as a design influence of ceramic pottery, often in the shape of vessels. This illustration is taken from the Illustrated London News 1849. [32], In Britain, the potato promoted economic development by underpinning the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. [19], The potato first spread in Europe for non-food purposes. Secondly, this long shelf life allowed it to be the staple food for the Inca Armies, due to how well it traveled and maintained its flavor and longevity. Nowadays, Ireland's relationship with the potato is not quite as strong as it was. Prior to the 1994 Rwandan genocide, consumption was as high as 153 to 200 kg per year – higher than in any Western European country. In former European colonies of Africa, potatoes were initially consumed only occasionally, but increased production made them a staple in certain areas. A single acre of potatoes and the milk of a single cow was enough to feed a whole Irish family a monotonous but nutritionally adequate diet for a healthy, vigorous (and desperately poor) rural population. For the best site experience please enable JavaScript in your browser settings, Pandemic mothers: 'It’s been the best and the worst time'. Easy to grow in our somewhat harsh climate the potato quickly became a staple food and even began to be referred to as the ‘Irish Potato’. Doing this repeatedly allowed for a softening of the potatoes. "[15], Europeans in South America were aware of the potato by the mid-16th century, but refused to eat the plant. Mashed potatoes are a staple food in almost every Irish household, but the side dish has a long and storied history that has little to do with Ireland. The earliest observed occurrence was on May 17th in Co Wexford, and the worst period was during the first two weeks of August, when the severe flooding in the south was followed by a spell of the warm, thundery, humid weather that makes Phytophtora so vigorously infestans. It is still widely eaten, especially in rural areas but is often substituted with rice or pasta as the dependence wanes. Potatoes aren’t native to Ireland—or anywhere in Europe, for that matter. The vegetables gardens of Surat and Karnataka had potatoes as mentioned in Fyer's travel record of 1675. Like the Irish and potatoes, African-American “soul food” reflects a history of oppression. In 1588, botanist Carolus Clusius made a painting of what he called "Papas Peruanorum" from a specimen in the Low Countries; in 1601 he reported that potatoes were in common use in northern Italy for animal fodder and for human consumption. The Andean Indians also prepared a dish called papas secas, which was a process that involved boiling, peeling, and chopping. This is Ireland's food history. They lived in the high Andes Mountains with freezing temperatures and scarcely a drop of rain all year round. Major infestations were reported from Donegal to Cork and the number of days when weather condition favoured its advance was more than double the climatic norm. Peasants along the way adopted the crop, which was less often pillaged by marauding armies than above-ground stores of grain. [10], Potato was cultivated by the Chono tribe in Guaitecas Archipelago in Patagonia being this the southern limit of Pre-Hispanic agriculture[11] as noted by the mention of the cultivation of Chiloé potatoes by a Spanish expedition in 1557. 1914 - World War I begins. [33], In Ireland, the expansion of potato cultivation was due entirely to the landless labourers, renting tiny plots from landowners who were interested only in raising cattle or in producing grain for market. [2] Cultivation of potatoes in South America may go back 10,000 years,[3] but tubers do not preserve well in the archaeological record, making identification difficult. The first Europeans to accept it as a field crop in the seventeenth century, the Irish were the first to embrace it as a staple food in the eighteenth. Irish potato growers produce around 350,000 tonnes of potatoes every year. The Origins of the Potato. British traders introduced potatoes to Bengal as a root crop, 'Alu'. William L. Langer, "American Foods and Europe's Population Growth 1750–1850", John Komlos, "The New World's Contribution to Food Consumption During the Industrial Revolution. The only problem with potatoes is their susceptibility to disease, the worst of which, Phytophtora infestans, is known more commonly as blight. The potato has since spread around the world and has become a staple crop in many countries. By mid-August 1845, it had spread to northern France and southern England; it arrived in Ireland in September, with demographic consequences which have shaped our history ever since. Contemporary opinion was sharply critical of the Russell government's response to and management of the crisis. Many Irish emigrate to other countries such as the United States. Heavy dependence on this potato led to disaster when the blight quickly turned harvest-ready and newly harvested potatoes into a putrid mush. Potatoes yielded from two to four times more calories per acre than grain did, and eventually came to dominate the food supply in Eastern Europe. Buy The Irish Potato Famine: The History and Legacy of the Mass Starvation in Ireland During the 19th Century by Charles River Editors (ISBN: 9781503386969) from Amazon's Book Store. In modern times potatoes have grown in popularity due to their versatility and ability to be used for many different dishes of food. It was first eaten on the continent at a Seville hospital in 1573. Nowadays, potato blight can be controlled - but it has not, as some city-dwellers might suspect, become extinct. That year, however, it turned up in New Hampshire and Vermont and, three years later it appeared in Belgium. The Irish Famine in the western and southern parts of Ireland between 1845 and 1849 was a catastrophic failure in the food supply that led to approximately a million deaths from famine and (especially) diseases that attacked weakened bodies, and to massive emigration to Britain, the U.S., Canada and elsewhere. Frederick was sometimes known as the Kartoffelkönig ("potato king"). These potatoes were then fermented in order to create toqosh: and ground to a pulp, soaked, and filtered into a starch referred to as almidón de papa. In the sixteenth century Irish revolts against English rule were brutally crushed by the armies of Queen Elizabeth I. It arrived in Europe sometime before the end of the 16th century by two different ports of entry: the first in Spain around 1570, and the second via the British Isles between 1588 and 1593. It took nearly four decades for the potato to spread to the rest of Europe. The first written mention of the potato is a receipt for delivery dated 28 November 1567 between Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Antwerp. [16][21][22] At times and places when and where most other crops failed, potatoes could still typically be relied upon to contribute adequately to food supplies during colder years. The rate of growth of the fungus depends on temperature; infection from plant to plant requires a film of moisture on the leaf - the longer this film persists, the greater the opportunity for infection. [17] In 1553, in the book Crónica del Peru, Pedro Cieza de León mentions he saw it in Quito, Popayán and Pasto in 1538. By the late 18thcentury potatoes were plentiful in Ireland and had caused the population to flourish. Potatoes tended to become more popular in wartime due to their being able to be stored in the ground. Early colonists in Virginia and the Carolinas may have grown potatoes from seeds or tubers from Spanish ships, but the earliest certain potato crop in North America was in Londonderry, New Hampshire in 1719. This new creation was then prepared into a stew, and usually was an addition to a stew. The blight spread to Europe in the 1840s where, because of an extreme lack of genetic diversity, the potato crops were even more susceptible. [27], In India, Edward Terry mentioned the potato in his travel accounts of the banquet at Ajmer by Asaph Khan to Sir Thomas Roe, the British Ambassador in 1675. Throughout Europe, the most important new food in the 19th century was the potato, which had three major advantages over other foods for the consumer: its lower rate of spoilage, its bulk (which easily satisfied hunger) and its cheapness. Poor families were able to rent land, grow their own crop, build a smal… Here are ten horrifying facts about the Irish Famine everyone should understand. Farmers then extract the water from the potato, leaving it much lighter and smaller. The Garden Shop provides a Range of Videos & Tutorials on Growing Potatoes in Ireland. It had been found by Spanish conquistadors in south America in the 1500s was shipped to Europe, and reached Ireland around 1590. King Louis XVI and his court eagerly promoted the new crop, with Queen Marie Antoinette even wearing a headdress of potato flowers at a fancy dress ball. The middle part of the 19 th century proved troublesome for the spud during the “Great Famine” in Ireland which occurred through 1845 – 1849. History of the Potato in Ireland. The potato crop was ruined during these years due to a blight or disease. No other European nation has a more special relationship with the potato than Ireland. 1845 - The Great Irish Famine occurs when much of the potato crop is destroyed. [23], In France, at the end of the 16th century, the potato had been introduced to the Franche-Comté, the Vosges of Lorraine and Alsace. Boiled or baked potatoes were cheaper than rye bread, just as nutritious, and did not require a gristmill for grinding. Often even poor families grew enough extra potatoes to feed a pig that they could sell for cash. The annual potato crop of France soared to 21 million hectoliters in 1815 and 117 million in 1840, allowing a concomitant growth in population while avoiding the Malthusian trap. Eventually, agriculturalists in Europe found potatoes easier to grow and cultivate than other staple crops, such as wheat and oats. Potatoes comprised about 10% of the caloric intake of Europeans. The Incas, whose civilization prospered for hundreds of years and vanished as soon as the Spanish came to plunder, revered potatoes. Peter Boomgaard looks at the adoption of various root and tuber crops in Indonesia throughout the colonial period and examines the chronology and reasons for progressive adoption of foreign crops: sweet potato (widespread by the 1670s), ("Irish") potato and bengkuang (yam beans) (both locally abundant by the 1780s), and cassava (from the 1860s). [24], It is generally believed that potatoes entered Africa with colonists, who consumed them as a vegetable rather than as a staple starch. [40] In 1990 he led a potato-hunting expedition to Guaitecas Archipelago,[12] the southern limit of Pre-Hispanic agriculture. The result was a tragedy that became known in history as the Great Hunger or Irish Potato Famine. Perhaps it's psychological, or maybe it harks back to times past in Irish history, but the sight and taste of early summer’s papery skinned spuds, hot from the pan and served with lashings of creamy Irish butter melting on top, seems to restore a sense of wellbeing and relief that there is fresh food on the table once more, for which we can all be thankful. Although potatoes had become widely familiar in Russia by 1800, they were confined to garden plots until the grain failure in 1838–39 persuaded peasants and landlords in central and northern Russia to devote their fallow fields to raising potatoes. Within this species, however, more than 600 different varieties are known in Europe. The potato first made its appearance in Europe about 1570, having been brought from South America by the Spaniards. The crop slowly spread across Europe, such that, for example, by 1845 it occupied one-third of Irish arable land. Ireland in particular, because of the extreme dependence of the poor, especially western Ireland, on this single staple crop, was devastated by the blight's arrival in 1845.[35][36]. The Irish Potato Famine is a harrowing time in history and some of you may not want to know more about Irish potato information, but it is important to learn about the history of Irish potatoes so it is not repeated. [19] The Dutch potato-starch industry grew rapidly in the 19th century, especially under the leadership of entrepreneur Willem Albert Scholten (1819–92). The earliest archaeologically verified potato tuber remains have been found at the coastal site of Ancón (central Peru), dating to 2500 BC. The humble spud, we are told, is the best package of nutrition in the world, being rich in calories, minerals, vitamins and protein and virtually free of fat. There are many facts about Ireland’s Great Hunger you need to know. “Soul food” developed from slave cooking in the American South and, after the Civil War, in rural and urban poverty throughout the U.S. The crop slowly spread across Europe, becoming a major staple by mid-century, especially in Ireland. In the German lands, Frederick the Great, king of Prussia, strove successfully to overcome farmers' skepticism about the potato, and in 1756 he issued an official proclamation mandating its cultivation. The Portuguese introduced potatoes, which they called 'Batata', to India in the early seventeenth century when they cultivated it along the western coast. By the early 19th century, however, the potato had begun to show a tendency toward crop failure, with Ireland and much of northern Europe experience smaller blights in … 1719– Potatoes had been introduced to the United States several times throughout the 1600s. So, what is an Irish potato anyways? [20] People feared that it was poisonous like other plants the potato was often grown with in herb gardens, and distrusted a plant, nicknamed "the devil's apples", that grew underground. [16] In France and Germany, government officials and noble landowners promoted the rapid conversion of fallow land into potato fields after 1750. Using 60 pounds per bushel, as given by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. In the 1950s–1960s, the growth of the French fry industry in New Brunswick led to a focus on developing varieties for the industry. The first settlers arrived at Ireland’s coasts in 8000 BC, but the potato only arrived in Europe some 400 years ago. What was the food culture in Ireland before the potato? [2], Potato was the staple food of most Pre‑Columbian Mapuches, "specially in the southern and coastal [Mapuche] territories where maize did not reach maturity". 1916 - The Easter Rising occurs. Traditional wisdom has it that Sir Walter Raleigh introduced the crop to Ireland about 1585. The potato first made its appearance in Europe about 1570, having been brought from South America by the Spaniards. Ireland Map Ireland Travel Potato Famine Irish Famine Irish Potatoes Irish Language Irish American History Timeline Historical Maps Great Famine | Definition, History, Causes, & Facts Great Famine, famine that occurred in Ireland in 1845–49 when the potato crop failed in successive years. In the Altiplano, potatoes provided the principal energy source for the Inca Empire, its predecessors, and its Spanish successor. It has been found that the ideal conditions for the spread of the disease are a relative humidity greater than about 90 per cent, and temperature in excess of about 10 C, both occurring simultaneously over an extended period. Potato arrived to Britain in 1585, Belgium and Germany in 1587, Austria in 1588, Ireland in 1589 and France in 1600. U.S. potato production has increased steadily; two-thirds of the crop comes from Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Maine, and potato growers have strengthened their position in both domestic and foreign markets. During this time, the potato crop became diseased leaving many people to emigrate from Ireland to survive. Basque fishermen from Spain used potatoes as ships' stores for their voyages across the Atlantic in the 16th century, and introduced the tuber to western Ireland, where they landed to dry their cod. 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