Eat This Podcast: The true history of the potato in Europe
Perhaps you’ve heard stories about the history of the potato in Europe. Ignorant peasants shun the potato until a wily aristocrat — or even the monarch — plays a trick on them to open their eyes to the true value of the humble etc.
Mea culpa — I believed the story and even retold it myself on occasion. So I naturally slapped my forehead, hard, when I heard Rebecca Earle give an online lecture about the history of the potato and resolved to talk to her myself.
Rebecca Earle doesn’t deny that something happened to put potatoes and their promoters into the history books, but shows clearly that the peasants were far smarter than history gives them credit for.
All the best
p.s. The banner photo is of one of the great potato promoters, Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, being removed from his pedestal, but only for a bit of a clean up.