Thursday, 3 April 2008

Spuds


The Irish obsession with the humble potato. After a winter of peeling boiling champing and chipping what can be nicer than the first new potatoes of the season boiled in their jackets tossed in butter with herbs and sea salt. Sir Walter Raleigh, British explorer and historian known for his expeditions to the Americas, first brought the potato to Ireland in 1589 from South America and planted them at his Irish estate at Myrtle Grove,Youghal, near Cork, Ireland. Legend has it that he made a gift of the potato plant to Queen Elizabeth I . The local gentry were invited to a royal banquet featuring the potato in every course. Unfortunately, the cooks, uneducated in the matter of potatoes, tossed out the lumpy-looking tubers and brought to the royal table a dish of boiled stems and leaves which, being poisonous, promptly made everyone deathly ill. The potatoes were then banned from court. There have been famines and war but the potato remains one of Ireland's treasures and when you see them on your plate with the butter melting over them could you fault it?


8 comments:

Anonymous said...

You have such a way with words Brenda. I truely love reading your blog. Always something interesting to read and dream about. And DROOL over. I have not had a decent cornish pasty since leaving the U.K. But am very tempted to give yours a go. Along with the potato mash, done with a SPURTLE of course.
Love being here. Thank you. Love Sal.

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

Now I share your passion for the humble spud Brenda, must be my Irish roots,

Sally is right, you have a marvelous way with words, I love visiting this place :)

George xx

Anonymous said...

I like these little history lessons as much as the recipes! The newest potatoes are always the best, aren't they? So sweet, takes me badk to when I was a child and my dad grew them in the garden, umm, lovely!
Jeannette.

Rhyleysgranny said...

Aren't they just the best Jeanette?

Anonymous said...

Potatoes are also the staple diet with Poles! Loved the write up.
AnnaBanana.

Kelly-Jane said...

I was longing the other day for some beautiful Spring new pots =)

chriesi said...

Yumm!

Jules said...

I Love your blog :) I don't know where I would be without potato!