potato, Irish

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potato, Irish The ‘ordinary’ potato, tuber of Solanum tuberosum. Discovered in Peru by the Spanish explorer Gonzalo Jiminez de Quesada in 1530, and introduced into Spain in 1539. Later introduced into France, initially as an ornamental plant. Believed to have been introduced into Ireland in 1588 among wreckage of ships from the Spanish Armada. Introduced to North America by Irish immigrants to Boston in 1718, and hence known as in the USA as Irish potatoes. Growing potatoes was banned in Burgundy in 1618 in the belief that eating them was the cause of leprosy. A 200‐g portion is a rich source of vitamin B6; a good source of vitamins B1 and C (new potatoes are a rich source of vitamin C), and folate; a source of niacin; provides 2.5 g of dietary fibre, 560 mg of potassium; supplies 140 kcal (590 kJ).