Ten facts about potatoes
Ten facts and some more about one of the most popular and loved food crop in Israel: Potatoes
Heshi Rubin, former CEO of “Uncle Moses”, Israel’s largest potato grower, reveals ten fun potato facts.
What is there to reveal? They’re just potatoes. Well, not quite. They are not just brown vegetable on your plate, which easily turns into a crispy, creamy, sweet or rich dish – all that you want in one innocent looking tuber.
- Thousands of potatoes There are thousands of different potato varieties around the world. Dozens are grown in Israel. Therefore, when cooking, it is important to select the variety best for the recipe. There are potatoes that will not disintegrate when boiled and will retain their natural form, there are those that will only retain their form when baked and there are those that will easily disintegrate. There are varieties that taste better when roasted in the oven, others are good in salads (these varieties usually do not disintegrate when boiled and their texture is smooth and moist) and there are varieties that, when preparing mashed potatoes, provide a consistent and dry texture, without fibers or lumps. Therefore, it is important to buy the right potato for the right purpose.
- So Sweet
When potatoes are kept in temperatures lower than 2-7°C (such as the refrigerator), the starch transforms into sugar, the potato takes on a sweet flavor and, when fried, it results in dark brown French fries. This does not occur at temperatures higher than 8° and the potato retains its characteristic flavor.
A medium-sized potato provides 45% of the daily recommend daily allowance of Vitamin C, 21% of the recommended daily allowance of potassium and 3g of nutritional fibers – all at a “price” of only 100 calories.
In order to ensure that potatoes do not lose of their nutritional value when cooked, we recommend cooking them in their skin after thoroughly rinsing them. If you do not cook the potatoes in their skin, it is best to cook them in a small amount of water in a properly covered pot. The water can be used for soups and sauces.
The bigger the potatoes, the longer they can be stored. Potatoes are well preserved at temperatures of 8-25°, in the dark and in an area that is not too dry. In domestic conditions, it is best to keep them in brown paper bags.
When a potato turns green, it means that it was stored in the light too long and its flavor may be seriously impaired.
- Who likes potatoes?
Israelis consume ~4,200 tons of potatoes every week. The quantity does not change throughout the year.
- How do you like them potatoes?
There is a popular assumption that the sweet potato is related to the potato. Actually, there is no botanical link between them.
- The Objective: Space
In October 1995, the potato became the first vegetable to be grown in space. NASA launched a project with the goal of feeding astronauts on long space voyages and, eventually, feeding entire space colonies.
- Electricity at your fingertips
Potatoes can generate low current electricity, how? Insert a 10 cm copper wire and a 1 0cm zinc wire into the potato. The wires should be 2 cm apart. Wait until the potato juice begins to work on the metal wires. Now, connect the free ends of the wire to a flashlight bulb or digital watch, and turn them on.