Nov 242010

Alongside turkey and/or corn at Thanksgiving and Christmas, the humble yet versatile potato is often eaten. That, too, was introduced to Europe from Mexico (though the plant appears to have originated in Andean Peru). A previous post delved into the connections between Mexico, the potato, and the Irish migration to North America following the potato famine of the early 19th century.

But did you also know that potatoes were originally sold in Spain on the strength of claims that they could cure impotence, at prices up to two thousand dollars a kilo?

Nowadays, potatoes in one form or another are virtually ubiquitous – from mashed or baked or potato salad, to French fries and the quintessentially Québécois variation of poutine (fries, curds and gravy).

On our Thanksgiving menu, we now have turkey, corn and potatoes, all of which originated in Mexico, but we still have one essential ingredient left… (for next time)

Previous posts in the Thanksgiving mini-series:

Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico is your handy reference guide to all aspects of Mexico’s geography! Ask your library to acquire some copies today. Better yet, purchase your own copy…

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