cover of book

Potato: A Global History
by Andrew F. Smith
Reaktion Books, 2011
eISBN: 978-1-86189-997-2 | Cloth: 978-1-86189-799-2
Library of Congress Classification TX558.P8S65 2011
Dewey Decimal Classification 641.3521


From obscure Pre-Columbian beginnings in the Andes Mountains to global popularity today, the story of the potato is one of rags to riches. In Potato, esteemed culinary historian Andrew F. Smith reveals the captivating story of a once lowly vegetable that has changed—and continues to change—the world.

First domesticated by prehistoric people in the Andes, the potato has since been adopted by cultures around the globe. For instance, the potato was aggressively adopted by cooks in India and China, where it has become a dietary staple. In fact, these two countries now stand as the world’s largest potato producers. Nonetheless, despite its popularity, in this era of both fast food and health consciousness, the potato is now suffering negative publicity regarding its low nutritional value. Its health benefits continue to be debated, especially considering that the potato is most often associated with the ubiquitous but high-calorie french fry.


Potato is a captivating read that provides a concisely written but thoroughly researched account of the history, economy, politics, and gastronomy behind this beloved starch—as well as recipes. As loaded with goodies as a well-dressed baked potato, this book is comforting and satisfying.

See other books on: Cooking | Global History | History | Smith, Andrew F.
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