The potato originated in South America, but European explorers found the root so delicious and versatile that they just had to bring some back to the Old World. The easy-to-grow root vegetable became an instant staple in the diets of many peasants (sometimes to their detriment, see: The Irish Potato Famine).
In any event, you can’t go anywhere in today’s world without seeing potatoes. And to prove just how versatile they are, here are 5 very different ways to prepare a potato.
The traditional way to prepare potatoes is to bake them. You can use a conventional oven or do it the old-fashioned way by burying them in the ground with some hot charcoal. Once done, eat your potato plain or with butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon, or broccoli.
Mashed potatoes bring back memories of the holidays. While the “best” version of mashed potatoes is creamy, with no lumps, some people prefer a little texture! This dish is versatile, so season it with whatever spices or condiments you prefer. You can even add peas and ground meat for an easy shepherd’s pie.
Potatoes are perfect for soup! From clam chowder to vegetable soup, potato chunks add carbs to fill you up, while also making the soup creamier. If you’re a vegan, potatoes are the best way to make “cream of” soup without actually having to use dairy.
Potato chips. French fries. Hash browns. Why do we love fried potatoes? These cut up and deep-fried potatoes are salty and fatty, a combination that makes our brains light up. While deep-fried potatoes are delicious, they’re not the healthiest things to eat, so be sure to consume them in moderation.
Looking for extra calories in your breakfast? Sautee some potatoes with peppers and onions for a side of home fries. This dish is a great substitute for people who can’t eat bread or just aren’t a fan of toast. Season with salt, pepper, or hot sauce for the perfect side to eggs and bacon.