Anorak News | International Year Of The Potato: Prespectives On Pamela Anderson

International Year Of The Potato: Prespectives On Pamela Anderson

by | 4th, June 2008

pamela_anderson-potato.jpgIT’S International Year Of The Potato (IYOTP).

Potatoes [sic] are big news, making Dan Qualye momerable (how many other failed US vice presidents can you name?) and winning the Democratic Party’s nomination for Barack Obama.

Chile and Peru will one day go to war over the potato.

On the official IYOTP site, the great and good of the potato world are waxing lyrical on the vegetable:

Stanislav Menard is a businessman whose paeper factory in Slovenia churns out 3.5 billion envelopes a year. But away from his high-speed machinery, he has a special interest: he’s president of the Slovenian Society for Sautéed Potato and Onions

But that’s nearly 90 minutes of preparation time…

“And that’s the beauty of pražen krompir! One of the basic rules of our association is that members should get together to prepare a meal of sautéed potato and onions at least once a month… The other rule is that no one should talk politics – in front of a potato, we are all equal.”

So Slovenia has had a long love affair with the potato?

“Actually, we were one of the last countries in Europe to adopt it, and then only by force. Agriculturally, Slovenia in the 18th century was a poor country, and famines were frequent. After a series of famines in the mid-1700s, Maria Theresa, the archduchess of Austria, decreed that our farmers should start growing potatoes…”

And it’s in Šencur that you unveil a monument to the potato on 25 May…

“Yes, it’s a bronze, life-size statue of Maria Theresa in peasant’s clothing, seated and offering a potato in her outstretched hand. It’s a mark of gratitude to her and to the potato. We are expecting a big crowd, including the European Ministers of Agriculture who will be meeting in Slovenia on the same weekend – but they will have to queue up for the potatoes like everybody else.”

More potato news as we find it…

Pamela Anderson is Director General of the International Potato Center (CIP) in Peru. In March, CIP co-sponsored one of the flagship events of the International Year – a working conference in Cuzco to develop a new research agenda for potato in the developing world.

And you thought they were implants…


Posted: 4th, June 2008 | In: Strange But True Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink