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Of Whipped Potatoes and Adventures of the Spud

An easy recipe for whipped potatoes, and then the story of potatoes.

I had no idea how easy it is to make whipped potatoes!

Peel and cut, say 6 potatoes, put them in cold water, cover the lid and boil.
After the water is boiled, remove the lid and continue boiling for about 15 mins or till the potatoes are tender. Then drain the potatoes very well, add half a cup of warm milk and 4 table spoons of butter and knead well with a fork/spoon (Use a potato ricer, if you are a fancy cook). Continue to heat for about 3-5 mins, and then add about 1/4 cup warm milk and salt and pepper to taste. Fluff it well and its ready to serve!!!

After I made potatoes in three different ways for the last three days, Srijith thinks I have taken to German cuisine a tad too much – but you can’t blame me, the supermarkets sell potatoes by the kilos and I have only two people to cook for. I tried the Indian potato masala, Swiss Rosti (a rather miserable misdirected attempt, I must admit) and whipped potato. Maybe, next week will be french fries, golden potato croquettes and baked potato skins – I am told one can even make delicious cookies from potatoes!

Did you know that the potatoes have a very interesting history – they were first cultivated in South America by the Incas, who guarded it as their little secret (apparently, they even had Potato Gods), until the Spaniards came along and conquered the Incas. They brought potatoes back to Spain and continental Europe, where it received a mixed reaction (Did we really expect Europeans to think alike?). The Spanish called it ‘Edible Stone’ and ignored it. The Irishmen loved it, more because they dint have much else to eat. The Scots hated it because it was not mentioned in the Bible – so it must be unholy. But I like the English story the best – the royal cook threw away the tubers and cooked the greens (sounds like something I would have done =) for Queen Elizabeth, who promptly rejected it. Potatoes came to Germany in the late 16th century, when the King ordered the peasants to plant potatoes to save themselves from the famine – anyone who dared to disobey would have their noses chopped off! May be its a testimony to how much the Germans love their noses that I have to buy huge sacks of potatoes! Then the potatoes traveled to France – trust them to make it chic and trendy and we got the Pommes Frites or the French fries! The irony is that the worst French fries I have ever had in my life were in a cafe in Paris. And finally, the Irish immigrants and the returning soldiers from WWI brought the potatoes to the US – where Sir Mcdonalds(ya, I know theres no such knight – but there might have been one in Potatoworld) popularised it as we know it now! Maybe because potatoes are not all that popular in Asia, but I haven’t heard any Asian potato anecdotes.

So heres to potatoes – the spud is a real stud indeed!

Posted in Culture & Languages, Musings on April 26, 2005

2 Responses

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  1. Anil says

    thanks for dropping by my page! You have a great thing going on here.. am still reading it :-)

  2. sandhya says

    Very interesting :)

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