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. 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). It was being used in this way in other countries but Ireland was the first to consider it a main source of nutrition. In the sixteenth century Irish revolts against English rule were brutally crushed by the armies of Queen Elizabeth I. 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. As the Irish became experts in tending their fields they began using the potato as a cleansing crop. Along with several other foods that either originated in the Americas or were successfully grown or harvested there, potatoes sustained European populations. [40] In 1990 he led a potato-hunting expedition to Guaitecas Archipelago,[12] the southern limit of Pre-Hispanic agriculture. Ugent D., S. Pozorski and T. Pozorski. [17] In 1553, in the book Crónica del Peru, Pedro Cieza de León mentions he saw it in Quito, Popayán and Pasto in 1538. Their potatoes were purple, blue, red or yellow, small and gnarled. The potato first made its appearance in Europe about 1570, having been brought from South America by the Spaniards. [16] Potatoes were planted in Idaho as early as 1838; by 1900 the state's production exceeded a million bushels (about 27,000 tonnes[30]). [40] Contreras reciprocated local comunities by genetically improving varieties aimed for small scale agriculture.[41]. During this time, the potato crop became diseased leaving many people to emigrate from Ireland to survive. Sir Walter Ralegh, Sir Francis Drake and John Hawkins, have all been credited with introducing the potato into Europe. 1719– Potatoes had been introduced to the United States several times throughout the 1600s. 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. In Northern Europe there were major crop losses lasting throughout the rest of the 19th century. Traditional wisdom has it that Sir Walter Raleigh introduced the crop to Ireland about 1585. Famines in the early 1770s contributed to its acceptance, as did government policies in several European countries and climate change during the Little Ice Age, when traditional crops in this region did not produce as reliably as before. Nowadays, Ireland's relationship with the potato is not quite as strong as it was. Its primary benefit is that it can be stored for years without refrigeration, which came into use especially during years of famine or bad harvests. But every year around 80,000 tonnes are imported from the UK to meet demand in … The Food Cult project seeks to understand the social, economic and political relevance of food in 16th century Ireland Thu, May 14, 2020, 01:00 Doing this repeatedly allowed for a softening of the potatoes. Potatoes tended to become more popular in wartime due to their being able to be stored in the ground. [16] In France and Germany, government officials and noble landowners promoted the rapid conversion of fallow land into potato fields after 1750. Before 1910, the crops were stored in barns or root cellars, but, by the 1920s, potato cellars or barns came into use. The potato thus became an important staple crop in northern Europe. Before 1842, potato blight was only known in Mexico, where it began in the Toluca Valley on the central plateau. [25] Shipping records from 1567 show that the first place outside of Central and South America where potatoes were grown were the Canary Islands. Main Menu \ History Menu \ The Great Famine \ As was shown in the previous section, the potato gained importance as a crop in Ireland in the period running up to the famine. This Kartoffelbefehl (potato order) termed the unfamiliar tuber "a very nutritious food supplement." In the Altiplano, potatoes provided the principal energy source for the Inca Empire, its predecessors, and its Spanish successor. 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. It served as a cheap source of calories and nutrients that was easy for urban workers to cultivate on small backyard plots. The Great Irish Potato Famine was a time in history that had huge consequences. Farmers then extract the water from the potato, leaving it much lighter and smaller. 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. Prior to the 1994 Rwandan genocide, consumption was as high as 153 to 200 kg per year – higher than in any Western European country. The first written mention of the potato is a receipt for delivery dated 28 November 1567 between Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Antwerp. 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. Potatoes became popular in the north of England, where coal was readily available, so a potato-driven population boom provided ample workers for the new factories. Nowadays, potato blight can be controlled - but it has not, as some city-dwellers might suspect, become extinct. [16], The Spanish had an empire across Europe, and brought potatoes for their armies. 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. [39], Beginning in the 1960s Chilean agronomist Andrés Contreras begun to collect neglected local variaties of potatoes in Chiloé Archipelago and San Juan de la Costa. Irish potato growers produce around 350,000 tonnes of potatoes every year. 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. 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. Despite the important role the potato was later to play in Irish history, we still don’t know how the potato reached our shores. Many Irish emigrate to other countries such as the United States. By the 1970s, the station's potato research was broader than ever before, but the station and its research programs had changed, as emphasis was placed on serving industry rather than potato farmers in general. While the potato was rapidly becoming an important food across Europe, in Ireland it was frequently the only food. 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[26] As in other continents, despite its advantages as an anti-famine, high-elevation alternative to grain, potatoes were first resisted by local farmers who believed they were poisonous. Irish potato production has decreased from 332,000 hectares in 1850 to just over 9,000 hectares. The crop slowly spread across Europe, becoming a major staple by mid-century, especially in Ireland. The Spanish fed chuño to the silver miners who produced vast wealth in the 16th century for the Spanish government. 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. [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. Peasants along the way adopted the crop, which was less often pillaged by marauding armies than above-ground stores of grain. [24], It is generally believed that potatoes entered Africa with colonists, who consumed them as a vegetable rather than as a staple starch. Sir James Graham, who had served as Home Secretary in Sir Robert Peel's late government, wrote to Peel that, in his opinion, "the real extent and magnitude of the Irish difficulty are underestimated by the Government, and cannot be met by measures within the strict rule of economical science". It is estimated that thousands of people died directly from starvation during this period, while hundreds of thousands died from the malnutrition and illness caused by it. New spuds herald a time of plenty. Within this species, however, more than 600 different varieties are known in Europe. 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. Is the Grenfell Tower inferno Kingspan’s Volkswagen moment? It was grown for flowers by Rudolph Jakob Camerarius (1588) and others; John Gerard added the first printed picture of the potato to Herball (1597), although he thought that the plant was native to Virginia. 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. Like the Irish and potatoes, African-American “soul food” reflects a history of oppression. 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. ", "A single domestication for potato based on multilocus amplified fragment length polymorphism genotyping", "Potato germplasm collecting expedition to the Guaitecas and Chonos Archipelagos, Chile, 1990", "Descifrando la historia ambiental de los archipiélagos de Aysén, Chile: El influjo colonial y la explotación económica-mercantil republicana (siglos XVI-XIX)", "DNA from herbarium specimens settles a controversy about origins of the European potato", "Columbus's Contribution to World Population and Urbanization: A Natural Experiment Examining the Introduction of Potatoes", "The Cambridge World History of Food- Potatoes (White)", "The Secret History of the Potato – ScienceNOW", "Containers and Weights of Commercial Fruits, Nuts, and Vegetables", "After 168 Years, Potato Famine Mystery Solved", "Mash hits: the land that spawned the supermarket spud", "Fallece Profesor Andrés Contreras destacado especialista en papas nativas y ex alumno de la UACh", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=History_of_the_potato&oldid=992442230, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 5 December 2020, at 08:21. 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. [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. Poor families were able to rent land, grow their own crop, build a smal… [40][41] These varieties were mostly grown in small gardens by elderly women, and passed down generation by generation. 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… Contemporary opinion was sharply critical of the Russell government's response to and management of the crisis. In the early 1800s, a strain of potato blight (Phytophthora infestans) known as HERB-1 began to spread in the Americas, especially Central and North America destroying many crops. “Soul food” developed from slave cooking in the American South and, after the Civil War, in rural and urban poverty throughout the U.S. It was first eaten on the continent at a Seville hospital in 1573. They lived in the high Andes Mountains with freezing temperatures and scarcely a drop of rain all year round. On the contrary, 1997 so far has been a year in which it thrived. Often even poor families grew enough extra potatoes to feed a pig that they could sell for cash. Recently farmers have developed the potato as a cash crop after introducing several new varieties brought back by migrant laborers from Uganda and other varieties from Kenya.[25]. 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. However, the cash crop of the Andean people was chuño: created by letting potatoes freeze overnight, then allowing them to thaw in the morning. The potato was well suited to the Irish the soil and climate, and its high yield suited the most important concern of most Irish farmers: to feed their families. Click here to learn more. [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. ", Dorien Knaap, The W.A. 1845 - The Great Irish Famine occurs when much of the potato crop is destroyed. After the middle period of the Qianlong era (1735–96) in the Qing dynasty, population increases and a subsequent need to increase grain yields coupled with greater peasant geographic mobility led to the rapid spread of potato cultivation throughout China, and it was acclimated to local natural conditions. The Lumper potato, widely cultivated in western and southern Ireland before and during the Great Famine, was bland, wet and poorly resistant to the potato blight, but yielded large crops and usually provided adequate calories for peasants and labourers. The potato was first domesticated in the region of modern-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia[1] between 8000 and 5000 BC. Routine famine almost disappeared in potato country, a 2,000-mile band that stretched from Ireland in the west to Russia’s Ural Mountains in the east. The potato diffused widely after 1600, becoming a major food resource in Europe and East Asia. 1867 - The Irish Republican Brotherhood rebels against British rule in what is called the Fenian Rising. [19], The potato first spread in Europe for non-food purposes. This new creation was then prepared into a stew, and usually was an addition to a stew. [14] Historians speculate that leftover tubers (and maize) were carried ashore and planted: "We think that the potato arrived some years before the end of the 16th century, by two different ports of entry: the first, logically, in Spain around 1570, and the second via the British Isles between 1588 and 1593 ... we find traces of the transport of potatoes travelling from the Canaries to Antwerp in 1567 ... we can say that the potato was introduced there [the Canary islands] from South America around 1562 ... the first written mention of the potato [is] ... a receipt for delivery dated 28 November 1567 between Las Palmas in the Grand Canaries and Antwerp. It was well established as a crop by the mid-20th century [22] and in present-day Africa they have become a vegetable or co-staple crop. See How to Grow your own Potatoes In modern times potatoes have grown in popularity due to their versatility and ability to be used for many different dishes of food. 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. At … This meant that potatoes were barred from large-scale cultivation because the rules allowed only grain to be planted in the open fields. It had been found by Spanish conquistadors in south America in the 1500s was shipped to Europe, and reached Ireland around 1590. IRELAND’S UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE POTATO. 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 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. The vegetables gardens of Surat and Karnataka had potatoes as mentioned in Fyer's travel record of 1675. Sir Walter Raleigh introduced potatoes to Ireland in 1589 on the 40,000 acres of land near Cork. The poor should be quite content with this foodstuff. This is Ireland's food history. 1982. 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. The Irish Potato Famine, also known as the Great Hunger, began in 1845 when a fungus-like organism called Phytophthora infestans (or P. infestans) spread rapidly throughout Ireland. The History of Potatoes. [9] The fact that the Altiplanos chose to represent the potato in their vessels shows they had great social significance to the people there. 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. That year, however, it turned up in New Hampshire and Vermont and, three years later it appeared in Belgium. The benefits of chuño are plentiful. Scholtencompany: the first Dutch industrial multinational, Summary of dissertation, University of Groningen, 2004, Steven Turner, and Heather Molyneaux, "Agricultural Science, Potato Breeding and the Fredericton Experimental Station, 1912–66. 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 … The result was a tragedy that became known in history as the Great Hunger or Irish Potato Famine. "[5] It had widely replaced the turnip and rutabaga by the 19th century. The potato, which had become a staple crop in Ireland by the 18th century, was appealing in that it was a hardy, nutritious, and calorie-dense crop and relatively easy to grow in the Irish soil. Eventually, agriculturalists in Europe found potatoes easier to grow and cultivate than other staple crops, such as wheat and oats. [9] The vessels represented potatoes in three ways: as clear depictions of the vegetable, as embodying a human form (either mutilated or not) or as transition between the two. The earliest archaeologically verified potato tuber remains have been found at the coastal site of Ancón (central Peru), dating to 2500 BC. 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. "[15], Europeans in South America were aware of the potato by the mid-16th century, but refused to eat the plant. 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. T… Potato blight is a fungus, and its appearance on the crop is often a legacy transmitted by infected tubers which have survived from the previous season. 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. Potatoes comprised about 10% of the caloric intake of Europeans. Heavy dependence on this potato led to disaster when the blight quickly turned harvest-ready and newly harvested potatoes into a putrid mush. 1914 - World War I begins. The potato crop was ruined during these years due to a blight or disease. There are many facts about Ireland’s Great Hunger you need to know. In this long war, casualties were high and the homes of wealthy and poor alike were destroyed. History of the Potato in Ireland. 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. Using 60 pounds per bushel, as given by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. [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. More than a million people were forced to emigrate from Ireland around the world. Once established, the spread of the disease is highly weather dependent. No other European nation has a more special relationship with the potato than Ireland. The poor should be quite content with this foodstuff. 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. 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. See more on consumer trends here. Boiled or baked potatoes were cheaper than rye bread, just as nutritious, and did not require a gristmill for grinding. 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. The Irish potato continues be play an important part in Irish diets. [38] Potatoes are Canada's most important vegetable crop; they are grown commercially in all its provinces, led by Prince Edward Island. [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. [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. By the end of the 18th century, it was cultivated across northern hill areas of India. [12][13], Sailors returning from the Andes to Spain with silver presumably brought maize and potatoes for their own food on the trip. After Philip II received potatoes from Peru, he sent harvested tubers to the pope, who sent them to the papal ambassador to the Netherlands because he was ill. Clusius indirectly received his tubers from the ambassador; he planted them in Vienna, Frankfurt, and Leyden, and is the person who widely introduced the plant to Europe. From the start, there were accusations that the government failed to grasp the magnitude of the disaster. It is a member, my informants also tell me, of the Solanaceae family, which includes tomatoes, aubergines and peppers. [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". Our average annual potato consumption is 85kg a person, (2½ times higher than the world average) but in the 1990s that figure was 140kg a head. 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. What was the food culture in Ireland before the potato? 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. For the best site experience please enable JavaScript in your browser settings, Pandemic mothers: 'It’s been the best and the worst time'. [4] Potatoes dating to about 2000 BC have been found at Huaynuma, in the Casma Valley of Peru,[6] and early potatoes dating to 800-500 BC were also uncovered at the Altiplano site of Chiripa on the east side of Lake Titicaca. 1916 - The Easter Rising occurs. The Andean Indians also prepared a dish called papas secas, which was a process that involved boiling, peeling, and chopping. The potato has since spread around the world and has become a staple crop in many countries. The first outbreak of the disease in the potato crop was first reported in County Carlow in September 1845. [25], In higher regions of Rwanda, potatoes have become a new staple food crop. So, what is an Irish potato anyways? It took nearly four decades for the potato to spread to the rest of Europe. The English privateer Sir Francis Drake, returning from his circumnavigation, or Sir Walter Raleigh's employee Thomas Harriot,[18] are commonly credited with introducing potatoes into England. In former European colonies of Africa, potatoes were initially consumed only occasionally, but increased production made them a staple in certain areas. The Incas, whose civilization prospered for hundreds of years and vanished as soon as the Spanish came to plunder, revered potatoes. Potatoes dating to about 2000 BC have been found at Huaynuma, in the Casma Valley of Peru, and early potatoes dating to 800-500 BC were also uncovered at the Altiplano site of Chiripa on the east side of Lake Titicaca. [37] During the famine years roughly one million Irish emigrated; this tide was not turned until the 20th century, when Ireland's population stood at less than half of the pre-famine level of 8 million. Frequently asked questions about your digital subscription, Specially selected and available only to our subscribers, Exclusive offers, discounts and invitations, Explore the features of your subscription, Carefully curated selections of Irish Times writing, Sign up to get the stories you want delivered to your inbox, An exact digital replica of the printed paper, Patrick Reed shares Race to Dubai lead ahead of final day, Iran executes French-based dissident journalist captured last year. [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. In the 1950s–1960s, the growth of the French fry industry in New Brunswick led to a focus on developing varieties for the industry. Established in 1912 as a Dominion Experimental Station, the station began in the 1930s to concentrate on breeding new varieties of disease-resistant potatoes. [34], A lack of genetic diversity from the low number of varieties left the crop vulnerable to disease. Here are ten horrifying facts about the Irish Famine everyone should understand. [32], In Britain, the potato promoted economic development by underpinning the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. They were not widely grown for almost a century until 1719, when they were planted in Londonderry, New Hampshire, by Scotch-Irish immigrants, and from there spread across the nation. This illustration shows a woman digging for potatoes during the Irish Famine c1845-1849. Between the years of 1845 and 1849, Ireland, then part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, went through an ordeal of hunger, disease, and … [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.