The humble spud to be celebrated as part of National Potato Day

Ever since Walter Raleigh brought them to Ireland 424 years ago, floury spuds have been tickling the taste buds of the Irish people.
The humble spud to be celebrated as part of National Potato Day

A lot has happened since Raleigh is reputed to have planted the first potato crop in Ireland at his Myrtle Grove estate in the sandy soil beside the sea at Youghal in Co Cork.

The failure of the crop in 1845 led to the Great Famine which had a devastating impact on the Irish people.

A key part of the Irish diet, the potato will be celebrated with a series of events countrywide today — National Potato Day.

It has been organised by Bord Bia, in conjunction with the Irish Potato Federation and the Irish Farmers Association.

The aim is to promote potato consumption to extol its virtues in terms of its goodness, convenience and how it fits in a modern food culture.

Themed celebratory events have been organised locally by the industry, especially in Meath, Dublin, Wexford, Louth, Donegal, and Cork, the largest potato growing counties in Ireland.

A staggering 97% of Irish householders buy potatoes and consumed 175,000 tonnes of them last year.

The farm gate value of the potato sector in Ireland was estimated at €122m for the 2012/13 season.

However, China is now the world’s largest potato-producing country. Nearly a third of the world’s potatoes are harvested there and in India.

Celebrity chef Catherine Fulvio said potatoes are an exciting, flavoursome, nutritious, and easy-to-use vegetable.

She has developed ten recipe ideas for people to enjoy. These can be assessed at www.potato.ie.

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