The birthplace of the potato - the South American Andes mountains. There, at an altitude of 500 meters and up to 5 kilometers, grow almost all known types of potatoes.
It is hard to imagine that such a common product on our table, like potatoes, was once a rare delicacy! In Europe the potato was introduced in the XVI century by the Spaniards. Together with gold and silver, which the conquistadors were loaded with their caravels, they took with them on the road and tubers, which are very expensive valued. Only the first Spanish new fruit did not like. This is not surprising - they tell me that they tried to eat raw potatoes. About 100 years it has just grown as a garden plant. And in France until the end of XVIII century the potato was cultivated in the flower beds, flowers, potatoes wore in her hair, turned them into bouquets.
At the end of the XVII century Tsar Peter the great sent from Holland to count Sheremetevo a sack of potatoes, so he sent it from different regions of Russia. However, it took more than 100 years before the potato became familiar to the Slavs product. The first time it was a rare dish even on the Royal table. At the gala dinner in 1741 filed only 500 grams for the whole yard! And then sprinkled the potatoes with salt and sugar.
But the peasants did not want to recognize the "earth-apples". They persistently preferred turnips and radishes. And even there was such a speculation: the potato plant to change faith. In 1840, the country was poor harvest of grain crops, then the government took drastic measures to disseminate and growing potatoes. Disgruntled peasants resisted, across the country, a wave of "potato riots". Against unarmed peasants were sent troops to suppress a popular uprising with exceptional cruelty. And only in the second half of the XIX century in Russia began mass cultivation of potatoes.
Today potatoes are cooked hundreds of meals. He feeds millions of people and is rightly called the second bread.