Word to Your Spud
Potatoes. The Goth’s of the veggie world. Cut out it’s eyes, rip off its skin, or bake it alive an it‘s happy as a chowder clam. It’s still satisfies despite the poor treatment. And this coming weekend Potatoes are front and center for St. Pat. Spuds will get their proper respects by being part of an internationally celebrated St. Patrick’s Day tradition, the corned beef and cabbage dinner. Wait!! Now that I think about it not very respectful to this tuber. Not even a mention in the dishes name. Why the hell isn’t it a potato, corned beef, cabbage and carrot dinner? The potato has been one of the most loyal and versatile foods in history. Why these starchy delicious starches have been around longer than the Inca’s even inhabited its birth land. Estimated to have made the scene sometime between 8000 an 5000 BCE this now undisputed king of starchy sides was ripped from the Inca kitchens and transported all the way back to Spain, where they ungratefully prefer rice!! Undaughnted by the apparent haters the tater spread through Europe and became an important crop all over the world. Such a regal line the potato had few challengers to its throne due to being genetically challenged in diversity and was not imitated with the usual number of varietal clones. That led to the (Not So) Great Potato Famine that nearly decimated Ireland and leaving those corned beef pots spudless.
Undeterred by a lack of genetic engineering it didn’t take long before we humans added hundreds of new varieties, and even a new color or two. The potato stands alone as a global masterpiece of nature. Every continent, every culture, and every kitchen on earth bows to it’s infinite array of uses. A thickening agent, a must have in chowders, an arsenal of side uses that rival the chickens reign of culinary versatility, a research plant, skin burn protector, adhesives and quite possibly a source of biodegradable plastic in the near future. It’s even used to distill for alcohol in the making of delicious hearty and buzz worthy vodka, Scandinavia’s unusual caraway flavored Aquavit, and Poland’s Potcheen, an alcoholic beverage so freaking potent it was banned in Ireland for over a century. Yes the potato, such a superhero of the culinary set it should be marketed wearing a cape and a giant “P” on its chest! ….maybe not , but you dig what I‘m saying!!
So this St. Paddy’s day go ahead and cook or enjoy your traditional Irish one pot meal, but when you do take a minute or two out to salute that iamond in the ruff Gothic starch that has an entire year dedicated to it. That’s right, I said an entire year. In 2008, The United Nations convened in an attempt to give the potato is due by proclaiming it The International Year Of The Potato. But even then it got dissed as they forced it to share it’s 366 days of that leap year. 2008 was also the International Year Of Sanitation. Cleanliness is next to godliness, an the potato stood side by side with sanitation so by my calculations, potatoes ARE godliness. So enjoy, and if you are feeling the activist maybe even start a petition to officially rename the classic Irish meal Corned Beef and Potato!!…………………Peace
Word to Your Spud