Year of the Ratte

As editor of Potato Abstracts I thought it only fitting to let you know that the UN has designated 2008 as International Year of the Potato. It’s also Chinese Year of the Rat – hence my hilarious pun on Ratte – a small potato with a nutty flavour!

For some really interesting potato factoids then visit the UN site and also that of the International Potato Centre (Centro Internacional de la Papa (CIP)) which maintains collections of 100 wild relatives and 3800 cultivated potato varieties. The British Potato Council has some great recipes to celebrate the Year of the Potato, and I almost forgot to mention it will soon be National Chip Week!

As 2007 was not exactly the best of years for potato growing in the UK, with floods causing huge amounts of damage and the general furore surrounding GM field trials, let’s hope 2008 brings a little more promise for the humble spud. Why not try a few more varieties and experience a little more of what the potato has to offer or even better grow a few of your own!

Want to know more about potatoes? Visit CAB Abstracts where more than 1800 records are added each year on potatoes alone

Want to know more about the history of the potato? Read John Reader’s Propitious Esculent: The Potato in World History out on 20 February

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