The potato. It’s the tuber that took over the world.
But its success story came with a hitch. As recently as the 18th century, the potato didn’t seem destined for domination. Hungry European peasants were suspicious. To them, potatoes were fodder for pigs, unsuitable for humans.
There’s a great story of a Prussian king who set out to change public opinion. He stationed guards around his potato garden to make it appear to his subjects that potatoes were so valuable they needed constant protection from non-existent thieves. When the guards were called off, peasants quickly stripped the garden bare of potatoes. And the potato was on its way.
But really, potatoes were just too delicious, nutritious, versatile, inexpensive, and easy to grow to be ignored forever. And wait a minute, what’s this? They might even be keeping French people thin.
Now beware. In this semi-comprehensive list of world potato salads, there lurks one imposter potato. More on that below.
Distinguishing ingredients: Red bell pepper, pimento-stuffed green olives, red wine vinegar
Distinguishing ingredients: Tarragon vinegar, beef consomme
Distinguishing ingredients: Olive oil, white wine vinegar, garlic
Distinguishing ingredients: Cider vinegar, bacon, sugar
Distinguishing ingredients: Cucumber, feta cheese, lemon juice
Distinguishing ingredient: Pimiento-stuffed olives
Distinguishing ingredients: Oregano, rosemary, red wine vinegar, lemon juice
Distinguishing ingredients: Dill pickle relish, sweet pickle relish, smoked paprika
Distinguishing ingredients: Eggs, mayo, celery
Distinguishing ingredients: Corn, peanuts, sweet potato (see below)
Guess what? The sweet potato is not a potato at all. It’s not a tuber. It’s a root. Here’s a great story from NPR on a genetic modification to the sweet potato that happened naturally, some 8,000 years ago.
Natural GMO? Sweet Potato Genetically Modified 8,000 Years Ago http://t.co/p77L9NdWWq
— NPRFood (@NPRFood) May 5, 2015
Distinguishing ingredients: Poblano pepper, lime juice
Distinguishing ingredient: White vinegar, bacon, sugar
Distinguishing ingredients: Soy sauce, sesame oil, bok choy, cilantro
Distinguishing ingredient: Sweetened condensed milk