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The Irish Potato

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Angela Langley

on 22 February 2014

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Transcript of The Irish Potato

Traditional Dishes
Peel 'em, Mash 'em...
The Great Famine
From Tuber to YouTube
Population explosion : 1 million mid-1500s - 8.2 million 1840, 4 million increase in 60 year period
Population Density
Over 1,000 varieties
Pre-potato Irish Diet
The milk problem
Potatoes: the answer to the milk problem
The Irish Potato
Potato v. traditional grain
Systematic integration : alternate, winter food (17th Century), staple (18th Century)
4,000 Calories, Protein, Calcium, iron
Consumption : 5-12lbs
With and Without the Moon/Saffron
In 1841, 1/3 of all houses were 1 room mud buildings
Population increase disproportionately poverty-stricken : 60% of the Irish diet , 90% for 3.3 mil.
Hungry July
Planting Season
Late Blight
US 1843, IE 1845
1.1 mil. ; 1.2 mil.
Crop sales
Charles Trevelyan
“the cure [of Irish social evil] has been applied”
“mechanism for reducing surplus population”

deorai / exile
US citizens claiming Irish heritage : 34.5%
Emigration: Diaspora
Recovery and distended stomachs; potatoes welcomed.
Modern Ireland : potatoes associated with peasant and old fashioned food.
Diaspora and Ireland's top restaurants enjoy traditional dishes
Return of the Potato
The potato is iconic and The Great Famine is alive for Irish and diaspora.
Ireland : ballyporeen, "hungry grass", "lazy beds", famine pits/mass graves
Diaspora : Staten Island( '88), Fields of Athenry ('76)
Angela Langley
Full transcript