Wednesday, March 07, 2007

La Ratte-Potato


Over 350 different varieties of potatoes exist in France today. The next time you walk through a market, notice the different varieties. The most cherrished of these are the Rosa, the Roseval and the Ratte. You are viewing the Ratte. I love this word!
Most of us don't spend much time inquiring about potatoes, (I can appreciate that) however, I found the history of the potato in France quite interesting. The potato arrived in France from Spain around 1540. At first, it was valued as an ornamental plant and only cultivated 50 years later. Shortly thereafter, its harvesting was forbidden as it was believed that the tuber caused leprosy. What? It took many years and a famine- in 1787 -before the potato hit the bellies of the Parisians...........

5 comments:

K & S said...

very interesting!

T.W. Barritt said...

This is fascinating - I had no idea it was once an ornamental plant. Now, some of the varieties are quite ornamental in their own right!

Katie said...

I learned how much I didn't know about potatoes when we lived in Ireland. I made a stew with the worng potato. The stew was lovely and thick - but the potatoes had completely disappeared....

sher said...

350 varieties of potato!!!! My Irish genes are jumping up and down. They want me to go live in France!!!! (With side trips to Ireland, of course!) Beautiful picture!

Mimi said...

J'aime les pommes de terre.

Too bad about the carbs. Can you remove them?