Tracey's Reviews > Potato: A History of the Propitious Esculent

Potato by John Reader
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's review
Dec 27, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: libraryread-tcpl
Read from April 12 to May 03, 2011

Alternate title: Potato : a history of the propitious esculent

A little dry at times, but nonetheless an interesting review of the development of the potato as a foodstuff - starting (of course) in the Andes, then following the tuber to Europe, with a brief stop in North America, spending the expected segment on Ireland, then wrapping up (somewhat surprisingly to me) in China, where the fast food industry in the form of KFC and McD is creating an increasing demand.

I found the compare & contrast with present-day farmers in the Andes with the Incan empire intriguing, and the lead-up to the Irish Potato Famine was well-written (and in retrospect, heart-breaking).

Worth reading if you're into this type of focused history (Mark Kurlansky's Salt or Cod for example), but be prepared to skim occasionally.

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