Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One potato (or potatoe, Dan)…

two potatoes, three potatoes, four… 

batata (Taino), papa (Quecha), patata (Spanish/Italian), prátai (Irish), pomme de terre (French), Kartoffel (German/Danish),
картофель/картошка (Russian), πατάτα (Greek), البطاطس (Arabic), կարտոֆիլ (Armenian), ポテト (Japanese), 馬鈴薯 (Chinese), 감자 (Korean), burgonya (Hungarian), aardappel (Dutch), มันฝรั่ง (Thai), आलू (Hindi), potet (Norwegian), peruna (Finnish), potatis (Swedish), Solanum tuberosum (Latin/Botanical), кромпир (Serbian), krumpir (Croatian), brambor (Czech), ziemniak (Polish), tatws (Welsh), קאַרטאָפל (Yiddish), and badaydahs (Bostonian)

(I will let you figure out the relationship to this EweToob link and the topic.)

Stupid cunning linguist pointer of the day, number one:

The word "potato" comes from the Spanish word "patata", which is a compound of the Taino "batata" (sweet potato) and the Quechua "papa" (potato).

Potatoes are a member of the Solanaceae family; the name comes from the Latin Solanum "the nightshade plant". Included in this deadly little family are: potato, tomato, eggplant, tomatillo, capsicum (which includes bell peppers as well as chili peppers), petunias, and, interestingly enough, tobacco. With the exception of eggplant/aubergine, all of the previously mentioned foods/plants are of New World origins. Can you imagine a World without French fries and ketchup? Not to mention any hot sauces prior to 1492 would have only included pepper (the berry, not the fruit), ginger, and mustard to spice them up.

I have stated many times before, most breakfasts are not complete without some form of "the ground apple" included:

Hashbrowns, home fries, country fries, "bubble-and-squeak", Rösti, Kartoffelpuffers, boxty, colcannon, champ, lefse, tattie scone, papa rellena, chuño, ocopa, papa a la huancaina, lomo saltado, milcaos, chapaleles, curanto, chochoca,


French fries (freedom fries, even), chippers, mashed (or smashed), boiled, broiled, twice-baked, roasted, scalloped, au gratin, tots, potato babka, latkes, riced potatoes, potato chips (or crisps in the U.K.), samosa, potato salad, locro de papas,

(exhale… Benjamin Buford Blue ain't got nuthin' on me, Forrest)

kugel, kugelis, stamppot, Hachis Parmentier, gnocchi, Knödel, raspeball, papas arrugadas, poutine, aloo ki sabzi, masala dosa, poodi, chowdah, Vodka, Potcheen, Akvavit, couch potato, Spud[1] McKenzie, Mr. Potato Head (aka Don Zimmer), etc…

Well, any way you slice 'em, dice 'em, or rice 'em, potatoes might be one of my favourite food groups; that is, right after the most important of all the Food Groups: Pizza.

[1] Stupid cunning linguist pointer of the day, number two:

The term "spud" as a nickname for potato comes from the digging of a hole prior to planting potatoes; right out of Wikipedia:

"The word has an unknown origin and was originally (c. 1440) used as a term for a short knife or dagger, probably related to Dutch spyd and/or the Latin 'spad-' root meaning 'sword'; cf. Spanish 'espada', English 'spade' and 'spadroon'. The word spud traces back to the 16th century. It subsequently transferred over to a variety of digging tools. Around 1845 it transferred over to the tuber itself."


  1. one potato, two potato, three potato four . . .
    I can't remember any more.

    I agree that breakfast requires potatoes--unless you do Mex w/rice and beans.

    1. That's about all I remember of that kid's rhyme, too. We used to use it to choose sides for games or something.

      As for potatoes with Mexican food, you'd be surprised how good some spicy potatoes go with a good chilaquiles. Potatoes don't have as much emphasis in Mexican dishes, but they do play a large part in many Central and South American cuisines.