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Here are today’s five things to know about the potato:

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Despite being delicious fried, baked, or boiled, the root vegetable rarely gets the praise it deserves. The environmentally friendly food crop has played a huge role in our development, but rarely do we give our starchy friend a second thought.

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They’re cheap and ridiculously easy to grow, and don’t require massive amounts of fertilizer and chemical additives to thrive (although some growers still use them anyway). They’re also good for you providing you’re not eating them in fried form all the time.

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In 1995, potato plants were taken into space with the space shuttle Columbia. This marked the first time any food was ever grown in space.

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The world’s largest potato weighed in at 18 pounds, 4 ounces according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

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While potatoes may be synonymous with the Irish these days, they were grown in the Andes mountains centuries before Europeans ever set foot in the new world.

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Today’s Food History

  • 1728 Captain James Cook was born. British explorer who charted and named many Pacific Islands, including the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii).
  • 1806 Alphonse Pyrame de Candolle was born. A Swiss botanist, author of ‘Origin of Cultivated Plants.’
  • 1872 Emily Post was born. (or on October 3, 1873). Etiquette expert, newspaper columnist, author of ‘Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home’ (1922); ‘The Emily Post Cook Book’(1949); ‘Motor Manners’ (1950).
  • 1873 Joseph F. Glidden applied for a patent for barbed wire.
  • 1904 The first subway (underground) rail system in New York City began operating.  The Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) line was 21 miles long.
  • 1930 ‘Gorgonzola’ was recorded by Jack Hylton & His Orchestra with Leslie Sarony
  • 1975 Rex Stout, American crime writer died. More than 70 of his novels and stories feature the fictional gourmand/gourmet detective, Nero Wolfe. Archie Goodwin, the detective’s assistant, described him as weighing “one seventh of a ton” (about 286 pounds). Shad Roe and Duck were two of Wolfe’s favorites, and he also consumed copious amounts of beer. Stout also published ‘The Nero Wolfe Cookbook’ in 1973.