Monday, September 13, 2010

TMI Tuesday...



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A Mr. Seamus Flanagan of Chicago Illinois asks..."Dear Mr. Knowitall, I LOVE Potatoes! And I Love all things Irish. Could you please give me some Info about the relationship between the two"?
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Dear Seamus, Of Course I can!!
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1.) No one in Ireland or most of Europe even heard of potatoes before the 1600's. Spuds, which originated in South America, arrived via The Spanish and English explorers.
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2.) Potatoes grew prolifically in the rocky craggy Irish soil. You could grow enough spuds on a half acre to feed a family of 6 for a year!
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3.) You can live on potatoes! All you need is to add a little Butter-Milk or fish, or maybe some cabbage, for fat and some vitamin A.
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4.) Although very nutricious, a working man needs about 14 pounds a day to stay healthy and active if they are all you are eating.
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5.) By the 1840's, about 3 Million people were eating potatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
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6.) Spuds kept people so healthy, that the poor produced more babies than ever before. 50 years after the potato was introduced, Ireland's population DOUBLED!
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7.) By 1845, one third of all the tilled soil in Ireland was devoted to the potato.
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8.) In 1845, a fungus named PHYTOPHTHORA INFESTANS, attacked the potato crop. Leaves turned black, new growths withered, and those already full grown, turned soft, black, and smelly. Those 3 Million poor folks depending on just spuds to eat...Suddenly had nothing! Other crops grew just fine, but the poor could not afford them!
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9.) The Irish Potato Famine lasted to about 1851.
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10.) No one knows for sure how many Irish died as a result of The Famine, but historians put the figure as high as 1.1 Million people. Another 1 million or so left the country. Many for the United States.
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Good Question Seamus, I hoped that I gave you some useful information.
But all this Spud Talk has made Mr. Knowitall grow weary...
I bid you Adieu.....

17 comments:

snowelf said...

A spudkini!! I love it!!

Dear Mr. Knowitall,

I'm curious...Why do they call it a Spelling Bee?

Your adorning fan,

--snow

Me said...

Many also headed to Canada and planted potatoes here. Then had babies that grew up to eat potatoes and have babies, etc. etc...until: ME!

Yep. And I do love me some potatoes. :)

steveroni said...

The spud said to the stud, "Whip me, man...whip me to a pulp."

And the stud replied, "OK, I'm gonna whip your potato."

Oh well, I tried..........

I'd better stick to reading you--and learning, Mr G.

Thom said...

Well now I don't feel like Mr. Potato or is it Potatoe Head. LOL. Say Mr. Know-It-All can you tell me how the suds and bubbles get in laundry detergent and dish washing soap? Mahalo

Serena said...

I like spuds. Wouldn't want to eat them every day, though. Mashed potatoes here, potato chips there, a few french fries in between -- WAY too many calories.:)

Brian Miller said...

wow. that is some interesting history g-man...

i do like my spuds...

Jingle said...

wow, the potato man is refreshing looking!

Boonie S said...

Spud on!!!!

Have a nice day, Boonie

joanny said...

It also made some of them color blind..... or so I was told by my welsh Irish father, but his favorite food, was pickled pigs knuckles, and corn beef hash, UGH.... is it no wonder I am a vegan.

Interesting lecture, just don't give us a test tomorrow on what we learned here today.

Joanny

Akelamalu said...

My great, great grandparents came to England from Ireland during the potato famine, to survive. They arrived on the pigboats. It was cheaper to travel as a pig (threepence)than a human being - this is how the Irish became known as Irish Pigs.

lime said...

my grandmother's people came from ireland in the 19th century.

thanks for the great lesson on the humble spud.

Eric Alder said...

Ah, I remember The Great Potato Famine of 1845. Wait a minute... No I don't! That happened long before I was born!

I was thinking of The Great MISTER POTATO HEAD Famine of 1985 - there was a shortage that Christmas.

Entertaining and educational as usual, G-Man!

Dianne said...

Eye see! Later, Tater.
Fab Di

Mama Zen said...

14 pounds a day? That's a lot of potatoes!

Jannie Funster said...

Is it the Irish in me that makes me crave potatoes in all their forms. Not quite 14 lbs a day, tho. Only 13.5 for Jannie.

xo

Scott said...

these things I did not know! interesting, from the perspective of this Scotsman!

Nessa said...

Well, mash my taters and call me a leprechaun, you are a regular history book. I learned lots.