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Poor potatoes, nobody is taking you seriously.

I just learned that a Potato Cartel fixed the prices of potatoes for decades in Germany, thus cheating the poor German potato eaters, and earning close to a billion Euro through the process.

What do you mean they put my price up and nobody cares???

A cartel controls me, and nobody cares???

Having told my wife about this terrible situation which our German neighbors are facing, my wife (who is an expert on crime and corruption) told me, “Ah who cares about potatoes!!!”

Now I know one is not always supposed to see eye to eye with one’s partner, but I am pretty sure this is a valid reason to ask for a divorce.

This is what potatoes are good for:

Gratin Dauphinois

Hachis Parmentier, Cottage pie, Fish pie…

Fries, chips, wedges….

Sautéed, baked, boiled

Mash and in particular sausage and mash

Roesti, hash-brown, and various potato cakes

Potato bread

Alcohol (mainly vodka)

Gnocchi

A base for most of your soups….

And I am sure I forget loads of other various and wonderful uses.

And potatoes are good for you — as the 2008  international year of the potato website says:

The potato is low in fat. Potatoes are rich in several micronutrients, especially vitamin C – eaten with its skin, a single medium sized potato of 150 g provides nearly half the daily adult requirement (100 mg). The potato is a moderate source of iron, and its high vitamin C content promotes iron absorption. It is a good source of vitamins B1, B3 and B6 and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, and contains folate, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. Potatoes also contain dietary antioxidants, which may play a part in preventing diseases related to ageing, and dietary fibre, which benefits health.

In 2008 — that is, the year of the potato — we traveled to Kyrgystan, which is the number 2 world eater of potatoes per inhabitant (with 143kg of potatoes eaten per year per person). The UK is tenth on that chart with 102 kg per person — a way to go to get gold, which is held by the potato paradise land of Europe, “Belarus” (with 181 kg per person). Surely Belorussians need to eat (or drink?) this many potatoes to help them get through the hardships of living in the last dictatorship of Europe.

As I traveled to Kyrgystan with my wife (no I didn’t make her go there, she made me go there, and no it wasn’t because of potatoes that we went)  I must really wonder how she has not learned anything about potato love during that trip.

Though I forgive her as she “officially” makes great mashed potato.

Mashed potato is probably the first dish I tried of my wife. When she just arrived in London as a poor innocent American student, she ended up living in the same flat as I did, which is how we met (I am quite lazy at meeting people). She made the mistake of telling us she made great potato mash. So we immediately decided to put her to the test and organised a “mash off contest”, she was to do a better mash than our Irish potato-loving friend (is this using national stereotypes?). And after a blind tasting she officially won the contest, hers being a solid basic great comforting mash. And her mash still is a great comfort food.

So even when she says “who cares about potatoes” I know she doesn’t really mean it, and so I can still love her, without having to choose between her and potatoes. Thank god for that!!!!

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