Sunday, 20 December 2009

Frozen french fries

Who first commercialised frozen French fries?
J.R. Simplot grew up in a sod-roofed log cabin and dropped out of school at 14. He became an entrepreneur that included developing the first commercial frozen French fry and supplied McDonald's and others. He became a food mogul & a frozen French fry billionaire. Mr. Simplot became the 89th richest American in Forbes magazine’s 2007 list ($3.6 billion) by seizing opportunities, then perceiving how one success could lead logically to the next. He died on Sunday at his home in Boise, Idaho in May 2008. He was 99.


Historical Cultivation of Potatoes
The potato is native to the cool upper valleys of the Andes of Peru and nearby countries. Its name comes from batata, a South American Indian word originally applied to the sweet potato.

Producers of Potatoes
Canada, US, Russia and China are potato producing countries. In the United States, the leading producers are Idaho and Washington. Other major producing states are North Dakota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Oregon, and Maine.

The Potato Plant
The potato plant is related to the eggplant and tomato. It is a low-growing, branching perennial herb with weak stems. Each leaf is divided into five to nine oval leaflets. The foliage is somewhat hairy and sticky. The plant bears clusters of small white or purplish flowers. The fruit, an inedible green berry about ¾ inch (2 cm) in diameter, usually does not form in cultivated varieties.

Potatoes are large tubers that grow from the ends of underground stems.
The potato plant grows best in a cool climate, in soil that is well drained and rich in nitrogen. The seeds are cut pieces of tuber, each containing one or two eyes. The pieces are planted 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) apart in hilled rows 24 to 36 inches (60 to 90 cm) apart. The tubers form 40 to 50 days after planting and mature after 90 to 120 days. Potatoes are harvested in late summer or early autumn. They may be stored for several months before marketing.

Potato Pests & Diseases
The Colorado potato beetle, flea beetles, leafhoppers, and aphids attack potato foliage, and wireworms feed on the tubers. The potato plant is subject to viral, bacterial, protistan, and fungal diseases, such as (respectively) leaf roll, blackleg, late blight, and black scurf. Various pesticides are used to kill potato pests. Some varieties of potatoes have been developed that are resistant to certain diseases.

The potatoes are large tubersfood-storing bodies that grow from the end of an underground stem, below the fibrous roots. Each tuber bears several buds (the eyes of the potato) from which new plants grow.

Potato Varieties

Over 24 varieties of potatoes are grown in Manitoba, Canada. The table varieties are mainly Reds, however some Russets and yellow-fleshed varieties are also grown for the table. The main varieties used for processing are the Russet Burbank and Shepody.

About 100 varieties of potatoes are grown in the United States. They are divided into four categories: round white, long white, russet, and round red. The leading varieties of round whites are Kennebec and Katahdin. The leading russet is the Russet Burbank, developed in the 1870's by Luther Burbank. Important varieties of long whites include the Norchip and Norland; of round reds, the Red La Soda and Red Pontiac.

Potato Consumption
Potato, a common vegetable used as a staple food throughout the world. It is also called the white, or Irish, potato to distinguish it from an unrelated vegetable, the sweet potato. Although used chiefly as food for humans, potatoes sometimes are fed to livestock. They are also used for the manufacture of alcoholic beverages and starch.

How to eat potatoes
Whole potatoes are eaten boiled or baked. Sliced potatoes are fried to produce American (or German) fried potatoes, French fried potatoes, shoestring potatoes, and potato chips. Potatoes can also be dried and ground into flour for potato pancakes and potato bread.

Is the potato nutritious?
A potato is approximately 80 per cent water, 15 per cent carbohydrates, and 4 per cent protein. It is rich in vitamin C, niacin, and thiamine and contains small amounts of iron and phosphorus. The skin is a good source of fiber.