As you will be aware, Irish people have a special relationship with the potato. Many years ago we were at a wedding where an English man was marrying a Cork woman. He went around the reception telling people in tones of awe, that there were going to be three different types of potato for dinner. How could he not have known that at least two is standard for any kind of fancy dinner.
There are a number of potato related ditties I learnt when I was growing up.
This one about the importance of ensuring your stock of potatoes:
Be ateing two/be peeling two/have two in the heel of your fist/and have your eye on two more.
Sound advice. Also this one which is a Cork special:
Are oo from Cork?/ I am are oo?/How are yer potatoes?/Big and small/How do ya ate ’em?/Skins and all/Don’t they hurt ya?/Not at all.
When I was little and we were ill, mashed potato with a little butter was often offered to the sufferer once he or she had graduated from dry toast.
My mother used to call mashed potato pandy, which I always assumed was a made up childish name never to be uttered outside the family home. Imagine my astonishment when I saw this letter in the paper (part of a long series of letters over several days on the potato).
Here’s another long letter on potatoes. In case you’re interested. And who wouldn’t be?
More of it:
I regret to say that Mr. Waffle being the child of 60s hippies prefers rice to potatoes and insofar as he likes potatoes prefers a waxy potato to a floury one. It says much for his other virtues that our relationship continues to thrive notwithstanding his poor carbohydrate choices.
Please let me have your own potato related memories.
The first time I visited an Andean country, one of the locals asked me if we ate potatoes in Ireland. He was completely serious.
That is surprising. I suppose we are only recent converts to the potato compared to the South Americans.
Delia smith says that everyone has a potato shaped space in their tummy
Longtime reader, never commenter, but I am an American married to a Meath man. We got married in Newbridge and had 2 kinds of potatoes at our dinner (plus potato soup) and the Americans are still talking about it!!
I remember when my brother got married (Galway girl), potato salad seemed liked mashed potato with mayonnaise to me…is that really a thing?? But I love potatoes…mashed, fried, boiled, baked..what not to like?
My Chicago Mother in law served potatoes at every supper to her husband and seven sons, even when they we having spaghetti.
I don’t know why my replies keep disappearing but they do. To summarise:
Yes, Heather, that is entirely correct;
Diana, who would have thought that potato content would lure you from the shadows. Soup is a daring move which we can only admire – no wonder the Americans were impressed;
Suzy, yes, with chives or spring onions, a sophisticated and popular choice;
Beth, in the college canteen in the 80s they used to ask whether you wanted chips or rice with your spaghetti – who would choose rice when there was a potato option available? Unbelievable. Your mother-in-law was very right.
Thank you for this special post ! I love potatoes too, in all forms and shapes, and I’m sure I don’t eat enough of them.
Ok, this may be my post popular post ever – who knew that there were so many potato fans out there – good woman Viviane!