The Daily Spud

...there's both eatin' and drinkin' in it

Month: July 2012 (page 1 of 2)

Spud Sunday: Fear Of Spuds

See, the thing is that Europeans were generally suspicious of spuds in the early years after their arrival from the New World and, however hard it may be for me to imagine, a great many people were loathe to eat them. They were rumoured, among many other things, to be a cause of leprosy, which would, you’d have to admit, be a bit of a turnoff.

Frederick the Great

Frederick the Great: a great man for the spuds
(image © akg-images from

The tubers had their champions though, and motivated by a disastrous failure of crops in the late 18th Century, King Frederick The Great of Prussia, who had quite rightly figured that potatoes would be a rather excellent way of feeding the poor, is reported to have issued what has been called “The Brandenburg Potato Paper” in 1770. This was an edict which gave peasant farmers a choice between planting potatoes and having their ears and noses cut off (which, one would think, was a bit of a no-brainer). Within a few years, and after sustained official pressure (which may or may not have involved relieving the peasantry of certain extremities), potatoes became a Prussian dietary staple, even to the point where, less than ten years after the edict, the Bavarian War of Succession (1778-9) became known as the Potato War, because the Prussian and Austrian armies involved spent a great deal of their time foraging for food and digging up the local potato crop.

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Spud Sunday: The Veg Of A Nation

There are certain things that are guaranteed to brighten up this blogger’s inbox and, this week, the honours in that particular department went to a press release announcing the return of Keogh’s National Potato Day.

Keoghs National Potato Day Launch 2012

Keoghs National Potato Day Launch 2012
(image from

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Spud Sunday: Cuppa Spuds

While I could probably live quite well on spuds alone – and believe me, there are far worse diets than one that is predominantly potato-based – I do find that my mornings are much the better for the existence (and consumption) of good, properly brewed coffee.

Sunday Times Coffee

Last week's Sunday Times, where I was all about the coffee
(the article lives online, but behind the Sunday Times' paywall, alas)

It was thus my great pleasure, last week, to have the opportunity to relay, via the Sunday Times, the thoughts of some of my favourite coffee people – Colin Harmon of 3FE, Karl Purdy of Coffee Angel and Paul Stack of Marco, among others – on the subject of the variable, but improving, standard of coffee available to us here in Ireland.

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