What would the history of gastronomy be if the expeditions to America had never happened? Of course, it is difficult to imagine tapas without potato omelette skewers, Russian salad or patatas bravas. Three essentials of the ‘typical Spanish’ that have the potato as the absolute protagonist. The native peoples of the Andes, in Peru, cultivated the potato for centuries. Pedro Cieza de León was its main supporter in Spain. In 1560 he filled a boat with several tons of potatoes. It took more than a century for it to begin to be consumed in a generalized and regular way and it ended up becoming the best resource to alleviate the terrible famines that regularly ravaged Europe.
In any case, it began as an ornamental plant and became an essential food for survival. The part that is consumed is not its fruit but the tuber, that is, the underground stem. In addition to being cheap and easy to grow, the potato is a food full of properties. It contains 82% water and is very satiating and easily digestible. Rich in vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, calcium and sodium. A whole nutritional treasure in this humble food that has multiple preparation possibilities and that absorbs the flavors of the ingredients that accompany it.
Despite the fact that some people stop consuming it in weight loss diets, a potato provides only 139 calories, provided mainly by complex carbohydrates and proteins. It has no cholesterol and hardly any fat with about eight grams of fiber in each unit.
It supports cooking in water, steamed, baked, fried and can be consumed only with a little oil, salt and pepper or more elaborated in purees, foams, soufflés, stews or, of course, the typical potato omelette. In addition, as a main dish it is also a perfect garnish and combines with all kinds of food, meat, fish or vegetables. In recent years, together with the traditional potato, we have seen the proliferation of numerous varieties of size, texture, even color, with the curious purple potatoes.
- It has numerous vitamins and minerals: Vitamin C, B6, potassium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, niacin and folate.
- Neutralizes free radicals thanks to its antioxidants.
- Its resistant starch does not break down and allows it to be fully absorbed.
- This starch also helps improve digestion.
- It is a satisfying food.
- Keeps blood sugar at adequate levels.
- Supports the immune system.
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