The potato is a popular tuber vegetable with hundreds of varieties. Each type of potato has it's own unique size, color, starch content and flavor and can be cooked any way you want.
The potato originated in the Andes region of South America and began to appear in other areas four centuries ago. You can now find the potato all over the world. It's now the fourth-largest food crop and appears in recipes of many regional cuisines.
Prolonged exposure to light causes greening and makes the potato taste bitter. Peel or pare green area from the potato before using.
Spanish explorers brought the potato back to Spain in the middle of the 16th Century, and from there it spread to the rest of Europe. The potato was promoted in Prussia by Fredrick the Great, frowned upon in Scotland (Presbyterians were concerned because the Bible failed to mention potatoes as a crop), and quickly adopted by the Irish as their primary food crop. How potatoes came to North America is the subject of several conflicting legends. One creditable source reports that some of the first plantings were those started in New Hampshire, from stock brought from Ireland.
The present name came about as an accident, having derived from the Spanish "patata," meaning sweet potato.
The term "spud" refers to the digging of soil before planting potatoes.