The 19th of August is Potato Day in the United States and in many other places.
Today you get to have potatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner — and it’s not hard, and might not even be out of the ordinary for many people!
The Urban Dictionary suggests we walk up to random people today and say “I like potatoes”, but we’re not sure how that that is in practice.
The humble potato is the vegetable that changed the course of history, by improving the nutritional levels of millions of people by providing them with stable, abundant calories as well as many other micronutrients. Cheap and tasty, potatoes were also easy to grow and easy to store, and once cooked, can be eaten cold or hot.
Remember, potatoes are not fattening. In fact, Weight Watchers has even made potatoes a zero-point food on one of their weight management plans. It’s what we sometimes do to potatoes that is the problem.
Celebrate today by having potatoes. (Does potato-based vodka count today?)
Have you ever had purple potatoes?
Have you ever exploded a baked potato? Many of us have! There’s almost nothing worse to clean up in an oven!
Do you know the difference between floury and waxy potatoes?
Other potato days
- Florenville, Belgium holds its Potato Day in October;
- Clark, South Dakota has held one in August since 1972;
- Greely, Colorado holds one in September;
- Williams, Minnesota has held its Potato Day in October since 1953. They hold potato sculpture and potato decoration contests, as well as a Potato Parade;
- Potato Day in the UK is the 29th of January.
Activities for today
- Have your friends round for a potato meal. Make baked potatoes and provide a variety of garnishes;
- try a potato dish you’ve never had before, and share photos of it on social media;
- order potatoes as a starter and with your main at a restaurant;
- see if you can find a recipe for a potato-based dessert (hint: one of the most popular brand-name doughnuts has potato flour in it);
- look for promotions put on by your local potato growers associations;
The earliest print mention that CooksInfo is aware of for a Potato Day on the 19th of August occurred in August 2003.
Prior to that, it had been celebrated for decades in the United States on various days in various months throughout the 1900s.
In 1915, there was a movement to make it on the same day as U.S. Thanksgiving.
Jensen, Randy. National Potato Day part of Whoop-Up celebration. Lethbridge, Alberta: The Lethbridge Herald. 8 August 2020. Accessed July 2021 at https://lethbridgeherald.com/news/lethbridge-news/2020/08/08/national-potato-day-part-of-whoop-up-celebration/
Mulligan, Greg. National Potato Day 2020: Dates, History and How To Celebrate Potato Day? Pune, MH, India: Broadcast Cover. 19 August 2020. Accessed July 2021 at https://www.broadcastcover.com/national-potato-day-2020-dates-history-and-how-to-celebrate-potato-day/
National Potato Day to be celebrated August 19. Alberta, Canada: The Vauxhall Advance. 13 August 2020. Accessed July 2021 at http://www.vauxhalladvance.com/agriculture/2020/08/13/national-potato-day-to-be-celebrated-august-19/