The potato, one of the most important food crops, came under cultivation by South American "Indians" more than 2.000 years ago. Potatoes, of which there are hundreds of varieties in every shape, size, and color, were carried to Europe around 1500. From Europe they were introduced into the British Colonies in North America.
In 1992, the potato is one of several food crops featured in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History's exhibition "Seeds of Change," commemorating the 500th anniversary of Columbus' first voyage. For many years, the potato had its own Potato Museum, in Washington, D.C.
Interest is increasing in the yellow-fleshed and other uncommon varieties-specialty potatoes. Yellow-fleshed potatoes are the rule rather than the exception in most countries. Some specialty potatoes available in the United States for many years were long considered of little commercial value. Now, however, with increased consumer demand, domestic potato breeders have begun to release some excellent yellow-fleshed varieties.
Meg Moynihan, Principal Administrator
Minnesota Farm Opportunities
Ag Marketing & Development Division