This Spud’s For You

Fried, roasted, mashed, steamed: it's hard to imagine life without the crispy, fluffy comfort blanket of potatoes. But until the late 1500s, no one outside the Americas had ever encountered this terrific tuber, and initially Europeans, particularly peasant farmers, didn't trust it at all. Or did they? This episode, we tell the story of the potato's rise to global dominance once it set sail from its native Andean home—and the stories behind that story! From tax evasion and population explosions to soup kitchens and potato bling, listen in now as Rebecca Earle, author of the new book, Feeding the People, helps us uncover the delightful myths and even more incredible true history of the spud.

Episode Notes

Rebecca Earle and Feeding the People

Rebecca Earle is a history professor at Warwick University, and author of the new book, Feeding the People: The Politics of the Potato.

Sister Potato

We played some of Sister Potato's stirring potato songs in our episode, but you can learn more from this BBC Sounds documentary or this Vice news report.