Tuesday, June 17, 2008
2008 is the International Year of the Potato!
This is exciting! Will my potato plant bloom in time for Midsummer? According to tradition swedes eats pickled herring and boiled new potatoes on this day (we eat pickled herring given the slightest chance, mind you), and it would be cool to slaughter the bucket plant for summer solstice...
Potatoes weren't my thing when I was a kid. I remember them as those big mellow lumps left when I had eaten everything that tasted good on my plate. This disgust was shared by all my friends. Spagetthi was held much higher in esteem. Only when I grew up I met persons in my age that actually liked potatoes. When I hade collected my chin from the floor I started to reevalue the thing I loved to hate.
Rårakor (potato pancakes similar to rösti but fried in smaller entities) tastes good. Boiled potatoes are a must when you eat pickled herring. I tried rice once and that... let's just say I won't repeat this. Bread is a better addition, but the herring marinade irritates the stomach - only potatoes will round it off perfectly. And, potatoes satisfy hunger better, whatever any GIguru will tell you. In scientish this is explained as high satiety index. (Unfortunately I have to stop this culinary tale, since my keyboard is in danger from me drooling too much.)
The UN has realised how magnificent the potato is and have proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of the Potato. I'm surprised I haven't heard more about it in Sweden. The only celebration seems to be a photo exhibition in Alingsås. Lame, especially when you think of how deep roots the potato have in our country's customs. Or is this a consequence of the fact that most swedes live today because our ancestors survived on potatoes and herring marinade? A sort of collective cultural fatigue?
I don't know, but I do think the potato deserves an International Year, and I hope I'll be able to eat a lot more tubers in the future. There are many tasty varieties you have to grow yourself to get a taster - and this is possible to do indoors...