Even though the Spanish brought potatoes over from Latin America in the 16th century, at first they were only found in royal pleasure- and medicine gardens. – The beautiful blossom and many healing powers were very popular. Friedrich the Great was the first one to recognize the potatoes´ value for the nourishment of the poor and issued the “potatoe command”: large area cultivation of potatoes was supposed to stop famine during cereal crop failures. In fact, it was the potatoe that significantly improved the nourishment of the Prussian soldiers during the seven-year-war (1756-1763). By the end of the 18th century, potatoes were considered one of the most profitable field-crops and were the food of the german people.
The popularity within Germany has decreased due to globalization but even today, the Germans eat a lot of potatoes and especially in other countries, Germany is known as the Land of potaoe meals. Potatoes are indispensable for the traditional, regional German Kitchen, in the poorer north even more than the richer south. The so called “potatoe – wheat – boarder” runs through northern Baden-Würtemberg. Of course the names of the meals vary from dialects but potatoes build the base for filling stew, are processed into soups or salads, made into dumplings, mashed, sweet or hearty, eaten as a side dish or the main course. As many different uses they have, there are just as many different strains of potatoes which differ in cooking behavior, skin characteristics, color, size or taste intensity.
Back-in-the-day there was a potatoe for every occasion but unfortunately, the EU unification urge banned many of the traditional kinds causing difficulties for the average consumer to purchase those strains. A lot of traditional recipes have been lost with these strains and most people don´t even know about the variety of the potatoe in Germany. The potatoe farm Ellenberg located in Lower Saxony´s Barum specialized on the conservation of old potatoe strains and is our house supplier, so please don´t be surprised about crooked or colorful potatoes in the “Deutschlandreise”!