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

Category: Dinner (Page 6 of 30)

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 www.germany.info)

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 Spud Collector

It is a simple fact of life that people see potatoey things and think of me. A quote here, a picture there. A recipe, an article, a song, a poem, or perhaps an unusual bag of crisps. If it is in any way even vaguely potato-related then there is every chance that it will get sent my way (and bring it on I say, just as you can never have too many potatoes, you can never have too many potatoey things).

Potato recipe booklets

Latest acquisitions by the Daily Spud Collection:
old school recipe booklets

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