August 19 is National Potato Day, and to celebrate the spud, we’ve scrounged up some fun factoids about the vegetable.
The potato’s got a humble appearance and reputation, but we sure gobble up this veggie; in fact, the average American consumes nearly 140 pounds of the spud each year (and we Canadians likely eat about the same amount). This makes the potato the second most consumed product in America (after dairy products).
Are you ready for more info about the potato to celebrate the vegetable for National Potato Day?
Can’t eat just one
Love potato chips? Can never eat just one? Well, maybe this particular one would be enough to satisfy you: The world’s largest potato chip was produced by Pringles in 1990. It measured 23 inches by 14.5 inches — that’s practically the size of a small throw pillow!
Potatoes get a bad rap
But potatoes are actually fat free and only 110 calories each. Of course, this isn’t the case if you load them up with sour cream and butter or eat them only as french fries!
In the dark
Potatoes take after vampires a little; they prefer to be stored in dark places.
High in potassium
We hear a lot about how bananas are great for you because of the potassium they boast, but guess what has even more potassium? You got it — a potato!
How did potatoes first gain the spotlight? Marie Antoinette wore a crown of potato blossoms in a parade in France.
What’s in a name?
The name potato comes from the American Indian word “batata.”
Ever made a potato battery?
Here are some simple instructions on how to try this experiment. Essentially the juice in a potato works as an electrolyte to the anode and cathode that the nail and wire create in your homemade battery. Unfortunately it’s not enough to actually power anything you’d use at home.
Just for kids
What other vegetable has been turned into a successful toy? We’re talking about Mr. Potato Head, of course! Mr. Potato Head was officially born on May 1, 1952, making him 60 years young this year! In 2000 he was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame — and well deservedly so, if we may say so!
The big one
The world’s largest potato weighed in at a whopping 8 pounds and 4 ounces. Check out a photo of it here.
In the spirit
Enjoy a vodka martini every now and then? Well, your beverage is likely made of potatoes, as vodka can be made from spuds (in addition to other foods that can be fermented, such as fruit, grains and sugars). Want to try your hand at making potato vodka at home? Try these instructions.