Do not refrigerate or freeze uncooked potatoes as this will change potato starches into sugar. This alters the taste of potatoes and causes the flesh to darken when cooked.
Prolonged exposure to light causes greening and makes the potato taste bitter. Peel or pare green area from the potato before using.
The world's most important vegetable, the potato was first cultivated in the Andean region of South America by native Indian populations. Spanish explorers took the tuber 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.