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sábado, 27 de fevereiro de 2010

Are french fries french?

Whenever you start to peel a potato, do you ever stop to wonder where it came from? The origin of the potato is lost in antiquity, but it´s known that when the Spaniards invaded South America in 1524 they found a large number, variety, and species under cultivation.The natives who dwelled there used these potatoes as a common source of food.Where these varieties and species originated is more or less conjecture, but they seem to be native to the American continents.Their relatives are still found growing wildin the elevated regions extending from the southwestern part of the United States to the southern part of South America.They are also found in the higher altitudes of Bolivia, Peru and Chile.All the species seem to require a cool climate.The are found growing in regions near the equator at high altitudes and none is known to occur under tropical conditions.

It is likely that the Spaniards brought the potato to Europe obtained in Peru.In the book, Cronica de Peru by Pedro Creça of Seville in 1553, the potato is mentioned under the name "batata" or "papa".Hieronnymus Cardan, a monk, is supposed to have been the first to introduce it from Peru in Spain.From there it passed into Italy, and they early in the 17th century to Austria, Germany, Switzerland and finally to France.So, the next time you require a bite to eat, when you´re attacking those french fries, think of where they originally came from; a gift to the world growing on a hillside in Peru all those years ago.

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