National Potato Day
The average potato is probably one of the most versatile root vegetables on the planet. They can be cut into wedges, slices, sticks, or cubes. They can be fried, baked, steamed, boiled, mashed, pan-roasted, made into potatoes gratin, and French fried. That means they can be used for a thousand different recipes.
It doesn’t matter if it’s eaten as the main dish or as a side dish; the potato always steals the show. That’s probably why it has earned its own holiday, known as National Potato Day, which is observed on August 19th every year. So, let’s all grab our favorite types of potatoes and get this potato party started!
The History Of National Potato Day
National Potato Day is a holiday that was first created back near the beginning of the 21st century. It was created by the National Potato Promotion Board to raise the public’s awareness of potatoes and to encourage people to buy and cook with potatoes. Of course, we’re not entirely sure why potatoes need to be promoted to the public in the first place, since they’ve been a popular food for quite a long time now.
Potatoes were first domesticated in southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia nearly 10,000 years ago. They were an important crop in those areas of South America and were eventually brought to Europe by European colonizers during the 16th century. They became popular in Europe because they were resistant to spoiling, provided a lot of bulk that made people feel full, and were inexpensive as well.
That’s also why they became popular in the United States. Today, over 376 million metric tons of potatoes are produced in the world. And that’s a fairly big jump from the previous decade when 333 million metric tons of potatoes were sold worldwide in 2010. In the United States alone, the annual cash receipts from potatoes stand at approximately 4 billion U.S. dollars each and every year. Now that’s a lot of potatoes.
Facts About Potatoes
To help people decide on what type of potatoes they want to cook on National Potato Day, we thought we’d do a little bit of research and find out some interesting facts. We then thought we’d list those facts below so that everyone can learn a little something new about potatoes. Let’s take a closer look at these facts before we move on to how this holiday is properly observed.
- Potatoes are the 4th most important crop in the world.
- Approximately a third of all potatoes are turned into French fries.
- Approximately 28% of potatoes are consumed fresh, while another 13% are turned into potato chips.
Observing National Potato Day
National Potato Day is a holiday that can be observed by anyone who has access to a potato. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Melody potato, Kerr’s Pink potato, a Laura potato, a Yukon Gold, or a Russian Blue potato. All that matters is that one of these potatoes, or one of the many other types of potatoes out there, is made into something truly wonderful.
Mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, potato cakes, or some other wonderful dish needs to be whipped together on this starchy holiday. Just let the world know what you’ve created by using the hashtag #NationalPotatoDay on social media.