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Potato varieties

Potatoes

About potato Edit

The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family (also known as the nightshades). The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species. Potatoes are the world's fourth largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and maize. Long-term storage of potatoes requires specialised care in cold warehouses and such warehouses are among the oldest and largest storage facilities for perishable goods in the world.

Potatoes are prepared in many ways: skin-on or peeled, whole or cut up, with seasonings or without. The only requirement involves cooking to swell the starch granules. Most potato dishes are served hot, but some are first cooked, then served cold, notably potato salad and potato chips/crisps.

Common dishes are: mashed potatoes, which are first boiled (usually peeled), and then mashed with milk or yogurt and butter; whole baked potatoes; boiled or steamed potatoes; French-fried potatoes or chips; cut into cubes and roasted; scalloped, diced, or sliced and fried (home fries); grated into small thin strips and fried (hash browns); grated and formed into dumplings, Rösti or potato pancakes. Unlike many foods, potatoes can also be easily cooked in a microwave oven and still retain nearly all of their nutritional value, provided they are covered in ventilated plastic wrap to prevent moisture from escaping; this method produces a meal very similar to a steamed potato, while retaining the appearance of a conventionally baked potato. Potato chunks also commonly appear as a stew ingredient.

Potatoes are boiled between 10 and 25 minutes, depending on size and type, to become soft.

Romania is among the world's top 20 potato producers. It is also one of the few European countries where potato production has actually been increasing - from 2.8 million tonnes in 1961 to more than 4 million tonnes in 2006 - while potato consumption per capita has more than doubled since 1990.

The cartof was introduced to Transylvania from Germany in the 1700s. Today it is an important crop for Romania's agriculture and national economy, and for the estimated 2.2 million Romanians who harvest tubers from their own small potato patches each year. Almost all of Romania's potatoes are marketed for fresh consumption, with just 2 percent being processed. In 2005, potato imports totalled more than 140 000 tonnes, while exports amounted to less than 5 000 tonnes.

Fries and chips Edit

  • Fries, or French fries, is the term used in North America for long cuts of potato that are deep fried.
  • In the UK, the same item is known as "chips".
  • In North America, "chips" are a snack food made from potatoes. These are known as "crisps" in some English-speaking countries, including the UK.

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