Potatoes are the soul of Scandinavian cooking. They are eaten with almost every meal and accompany anything traditional. You would think that, given such culinary success, they have been with us for ages, but in fact, potatoes have been eaten in Scandinavia for only about 300 years...Did you know that a gentleman by the name Olaus Rudbeck is considered to be the first to bring the potatoes into Sweden. In 1655 he started growing potatoes in his landscaped Botanical Garden in Uppsala. But the one who usually gets the credit of having brought the potatoes to Sweden is Jonas Alströmer. On his farm Nolhaga outside Alingsås, he started growing potatoes in 1724, with potato seeds that is believed to have come from England. Alströmer also drew attention to the valuable nutrients and opportunities of this new soil fruit.
A respected Swedish noblewoman, Eva De La Gardie, also played a major role in spreading knowledge about potatoes. Eva advocated for alternative use of the potatoes, namely for the production of starch - powder and for "distilling of spirits". She was acting like a bit of an old time marketing manager for the potato you could say. Eva was elected as the first woman in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for her efforts to spread knowledge about the potatoes in Sweden. We thank them all for their efforts :)
- In Sweden, we eat an average of 50 kilos of potatoes per person per year, while in the rest of the world people eat on average 33 kilos per year.
- In 1995 the potato received an award as the first vegetable to be grown in space. This happened on the spaceship Columbia.
- The world's largest potato, which has a world record in both weight and size, weighed 3.76 kilos and was grown in England.