Behold, The Mighty Potato!

Friends of VinylCheese, we believe that you, like ourselves, hold a few truths to be self-evident. That potatoes are the the foodstuff of the Gods. So, in honor of the vastly misunderstood potato we present you with more information and quotes about potatoes than you even thought existed.


When the hens are a-laying eggs, and the roosters pluck-pluck-put-akut and you—honey—put new potatoes and gravy on the table, and there ain’t too much rain or too little: Say, why do I feel so gabby? Why do I want to holler all over the place?

(Excerpt Carl Sandburg, Potato Blossom Songs and Jigs)



potato or white potato, common name for a perennial plant (Solanum tuberosum) of the family Solanaceae (nightshade family) and for its swollen underground stem, a tuber, which is one of the most widely used vegetables in Western temperate climates. The plant is probably native to the Andes, where it was cultivated by the Incas. In pre-Columbian times its culture spread widely among Native Americans, for whom it was a staple food. Its history is difficult to trace, partly because the name potato was also used by early writers for the sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) and for other unrelated plants. Spanish explorers are believed to have brought it in the 16th cent. from Peru to Spain, whence it spread N and W throughout Europe. It was brought to North America by European settlers probably c.1600; thus, like the closely related tomato, it is a reintroduced food plant in the New World. The potato was first accepted as a large-scale crop in the British Isles. It became the major food in Ireland during the 18th cent. and is hence often called Irish potato to distinguish it from the sweet potato. Ireland was so dependent on the potato that the failure (resulting from blight) of the 1845–46 crop caused a famine resulting in widespread disease, death, and emigration. The potato was also important to the course of history in the 20th cent. in Europe, especially in Germany, where it kept the country alive during two world wars. With its high carbohydrate content, the potato is today a primary food of Western peoples, as well as a source of starch, flour, alcohol, dextrin, and fodder (chiefly in Europe, where more is used for this purpose than for human consumption). It grows best in a cool, moist climate; in the United States mostly in Maine and Idaho. Germany, Russia, and Poland are the greatest potato-producing countries of Europe. Potatoes are usually propagated by planting pieces of the tubers that bear two or three “eyes,” the buds of the underground stems. The plant is sensitive to frost, is subject to certain fungus and virus diseases (e.g., mosaic, wilt, and blight), and is attacked by several insect pests, especially the potato beetle. Nutritionally, the potato is high in carbohydrates and a good source of protein, vitamin C, the B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, and iron. Most of the minerals and protein are concentrated in a thin layer beneath the skin, and the skin itself is a source of food fiber; health authorities therefore recommend cooking and eating it unpeeled. Potatoes are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Polemoniales, family Solanaceae.

prairie potato
SYLLABICATION: prairie potato NOUN : See breadroot.

swamp potato
SYLLABICATION: swamp potato NOUN : Botany Arrowhead.

sweet potato
SYLLABICATION: sweet potato NOUN : 1. a. A tropical American vine (Ipomoea batatas) having rose-violet or pale pink, funnel-shaped flowers, and cultivated for its fleshy tuberous orange root. b. The root of this vine, eaten cooked as a vegetable. Also called yam . Informal An ocarina.

hot potato
SYLLABICATION: hot potato NOUN : Informal A problem that is so controversial or sensitive that those handling it risk unpleasant consequences: “gun control—a political hot potato.”

air potato
SYLLABICATION: air potato PRONUNCIATION: âr´p-t´´t NOUN : A tropical Old World yam (Dioscorea bulbifera) having axillary potatolike tubers, some of which are edible after cooking. It is a weed in the tropics and Florida. Also called aerial yam , potato yam .

couch potato
SYLLABICATION: couch potato NOUN : Slang A person who spends much time sitting or lying down, usually watching television.

white potato
SYLLABICATION: white potato NOUN : The edible tuber of the common potato.

potato chip
SYLLABICATION: potato chip NOUN : A thin slice of potato fried in deep fat until crisp and then usually seasoned. Often used in the plural.

Potato skin
SYLLABICATION: potato skin NOUN : An appetizer made of a piece of baked potato skin spread with a topping and broiled or baked. Often used in the plural.

More information about the make-up of the potato from Fanny Farmer



AUTHOR: Douglas MacArthur
QUOTATION: Found a little patched-up inn in the village of Bulson…. Proprietor had nothing but potatoes; but what a feast he laid before me. Served them in five different courses—potato soup, potato fricassee, potatoes creamed, potato salad and finished with potato pie. It may be because I had not eaten for 36 hours, but that meal seems about the best I ever had.
ATTRIBUTION: Diary notes from World War I, Life 24 Jan 64

AUTHOR: E Thomas Hughes, founder, Potato Museum, Washington DC
QUOTATION: We’re serious but not solemn about potatoes here. The potato has lots of eyes, but no mouth. That’s where I come in.
ATTRIBUTION: Christian Science Monitor 7 Jul 86

AUTHOR: Henry S F Cooper
QUOTATION: A man who thinks too much about his ancestors is like a potato—the best part of him is underground.
ATTRIBUTION: Recalled on his death 10 Sep 84

AUTHOR: Andrew Tobias
QUOTATION: In a world where the time it takes to travel (supersonic) or to bake a potato (microwave) or to process a million calculations (microchip) shrinks inexorably, only three things have remained constant and unrushed: the nine months it takes to have a baby, the nine months it takes to untangle a credit card dispute and the nine months it takes to publish a hardcover book.
ATTRIBUTION: “Hot Leads and Lead Time” Savvy May 80

AUTHOR: Big Richard
QUOTATION: You say potato, I say fuck you!
ATTRIBUTION: email, May 3, 2001




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