Potato | Patates
Potato (following rice, wheat and maize) is the world’s fourth largest food crop. Potatoes were first cultivated between 8000 – 5000 BC the Inca Indians in Peru. In 1536, Spanish Conquistadors conquered Peru and discovered potatoes and carried them back to Europe. By the end of the sixteenth century, they were being cultivated in Spain. From Spain, potato cultivation spread across the rest of Europe.
Early in the 19th century, two varieties of potatoes were introduced to Turkey. The first introduction was to Turkey’s Anatolian and Black Sea Region from the Caucasus. As a linguistic reminder of the origin, this variety is still known by some as ruskartoe. Between 75 and 100 years later, a second introduction from the Balkans was made to Turkey’s the western regions. In these villages, potato is sometimes called kumpir. Kumpir is a derivation from the Yugoslavian name krompir. In 1872, the Ottoman government began to actively encourage potato cultivation in the Adapazarı Province. Today, Turkey is the largest producer of potatoes in the Middle East and ranked 19th worldwide.
In Turkey, potatoes are consumed baked, grilled and fried. Stuffed baked potatoes (Kumpir) are an Aegean regional speciality.
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