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Thread: What starch/tuber did Europeans eat prior to the arrival of the potato?

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    Senior Member Edenkoben's Avatar
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    Question What starch/tuber did Europeans eat prior to the arrival of the potato?

    So my roommate just answered a trivia question--apparently correctly--that says that potatoes were discovered in South American and imported into Europe.

    If true, what starch/tuber did Europeans eat prior to the arrival of the potato, if any?

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    Parsnips,turnips, rutabaga(swede). Lentils, porrage etc were common. Grain was huge.

    Corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, squash(both winter and zuchinni) and green and red(paprika) peppers are from the americas. I am glad that they are so popular in european foods. Potatoes took quite a long time to catch on in europe as did tomatoes. Tomatoes are related to nightshade after all. I remember reading something a priest wrote about how potatoes would be the downfall of wives because they took so little time to prepare.

    Edit: You are correct about onion, peas, beans and cabbage. Acording to an essay by Umberto Eco peas/lentils were a large part of recovering from the Black plague and the end of the Dark ages. They provided more protien for less labor and allowed people to devlop more. Read while your beans are cooking.
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    Senior Member Edenkoben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladybright
    I remember reading something a priest wrote about how potatoes would be the downfall of wives because they took so little time to prepare.
    Ha. Imagine thateyes: Not that he ever cooked a meal. I, on the other hand, love to cook.

    What of carrots, onions, beets? I knew about lentils--what of other legumes (peas, beans)?

    BTW, this is very helpful. I believe you can never know someone as well as you do at the table.

    And another question: is there a foodstuff that you (you plural) say "This defines my culture/country/folk in a way that no other does!"

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    Hmm... Well, all I wanted to say, is that I have, all my life, HATED potatoes. I can't stand it, just the smell of it disgusts me.

    Now, I would have contributed some more, but unfortunately I'm not much into food. I rarely eat anything (Ofcourse, I get these fits where I have to eat something ) and if I eat something, it's just bread, butter and cheese. So food's not my corner, sorry.

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    Potatoes, tomatoes, chili peppers and eggplants are all apart of the Nightshade family, Solanaceae

    Potatoes contain glycoalkaloids, toxic compounds, of which the most prevalent are solanine and chaconine. Cooking at high temperatures (over 170 °C or 340 °F) partly destroys these. The concentration of glycoalkaloid in wild potatoes suffices to produce toxic effects in humans. Glycoalkaloids occur in the greatest concentrations just underneath the skin of the tuber, and they increase with age and exposure to light. Glycoalkaloids may cause headaches, diarrhea, cramps and in severe cases coma and death; however, poisoning from potatoes occurs very rarely.
    And another question: is there a foodstuff that you (you plural) say "This defines my culture/country/folk in a way that no other does!"
    Pork and Sauerkraut, Fastnachts, Dandelion wine, dandelion salad w/ hot bacon dressing or scrapple!

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    Potatoes here...chips actually. They're a staple of the scottish diet!
    Apart from that, i'm not sure. Being vegetarian, i don't eat what everyone else eats anyway.
    I knew potatoes were from the nightshade family. I knew someone who follows a macrobiotic diet ( an unusual japanese-type diet with lots of rice and seaweed and things i can't remember the names of), and they don't eat potatoes or tomatoes for that reason...food wouldn't be the same without tomatoes or potatoes...
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    Cabbage and brusslsprouts used to be more popular as well.
    This is more of a family than a specific culture since I have a mixed family.
    Rutabegas, potatoes, onions and leeks in great soups and breads, beef stew with alspice and bay leaves, Haverti cheese, good pickles, Real cheesecake(no cream cheese thanks), homemade saurkraut, cardamum bread, gingersnaps.


    Slow long cooking seems to make eggplant as well as potato more digestable. As a kid I green peppers always gave me an upset stomach but no longer.


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    Priests spread the knowlegde of potatoes. I think potatoes are great, and you can cook them in alot of ways. Fish or red meat and potatoes is my favorite combo. Im not very picky about food and can eat just about anything. I have grown my own potatoes when I was younger.

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    900 lbs. potatoes

    Britt's Mulligan Stew

    Twenty stew pots are used. They hold a total of:

    450 lbs. beef
    900 lbs. potatoes
    250 lbs. carrots
    35 lbs. green-red peppers
    300 lbs. cabbage
    100 lbs. turnips
    10 lbs. parsnips
    150 lbs. tomatoes
    20 lbs. chili pepper
    25 lbs. rice
    60 lbs. celery
    1 lb. bay leaves
    24 gal. mixed vegetables
    10 lb. kitchen bouquet flavoring
    About 400 loaves of bread are served. The finished stew fills about 5,000 8-oz cups.

    http://www.brittiowa.com/hobo/index.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzKlown
    900 lbs. potatoes

    Britt's Mulligan Stew

    Twenty stew pots are used. They hold a total of:


    900 lbs. potatoes
    http://www.brittiowa.com/hobo/index.htm
    Right, I'll just get to peeling then, eh?:runaway

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