National Potato Day Date in the current year: August 19, 2022

National Potato Day Potatoes are a staple in many countries across the world because they are easy to grow, relatively inexpensive, and very versatile. Celebrate this amazing root vegetable on National Potato Day that is observed annually on August 19.

Potatoes are so ubiquitous around the world that we often forget they had not been introduced to Europe and the rest of the Old World until after the discovery of America. Wild potatoes are native to the Americas, ranging from southern United States to southern Chile. They were domesticated 7,000-10,000 years ago in what is now southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia. Spanish conquistadors introduced potatoes to Europe in the 16th century after the conquest of the Inca Empire.

Today, potatoes are a staple food in many cultures around the globe, although their importance varies depending on the region, and the fourth-largest food crop in the world after corn, wheat, and rice. As of 2020, the world’s largest producers of potatoes were China, India, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States.

Thousands of years of selective breeding have resulted in the emergence of more than 5,000 potato cultivars; approximately 3,000 of them are found in the Andes, where potatoes originated from. Each potato cultivar has agricultural or culinary properties it is cultivated for. For example, different potato cultivars have different starch content. Starchy potatoes are better for baking, and less starchy potatoes are better for boiling.

When it comes to cooking, potatoes are valued for their versatility. They can be boiled, baked, steamed, fried, deep fried, roasted, or cooked in a microwave as well as used as a main or additional ingredient in an impressive range of dishes such as soups, salads, casseroles, stews, pies, fritters, dumplings, snacks, pancakes, and more. You can cook a new potato dish every day for a year without running out for recipes to try!

Given the ubiquity and popularity of potatoes, the existence of National Potato Day is not surprising at all. The origin of the holiday is unclear, but it has been celebrated since at least 2006. The best way to celebrate Potato Day is, of course, to eat delicious potato dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner! There are literally thousands of potato dishes for you to choose from, ranging from simple baked or mashed potatoes to sophisticated duchess potatoes (pommes de terre duchesse).

Other ways to observe National Potato Day include learning more about these amazing root vegetables, throwing a potato-themed potluck dinner or barbecue party for your family and friends, sharing your favorite potato recipes, and spreading the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #NationalPotatoDay and #PotatoDay.

National Potato Day celebrated by Americans on August 19 should not be confused with National Potato Day in Peru. The birthplace of potatoes celebrates them on May 30. The government of Peru established National Potato Day in 2005 to pay homage to one of the world’s most important food crops and celebrate its immense diversity and versatility.

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Category

Unofficial Holidays

Country

USA

Tags

National Potato Day, holidays in the United States, unofficial holidays, food days in the United States, food-related holidays