Notes phytochemist. Potatoes ("Bulba"). Part one, or the Hard way to our table

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If Adam was tempted not by an apple, but by a potato, God would understand and forgive.
Refat Shakir-Aliyev

In the voting, which I conducted in my last article, won the potato with a serious margin, which I, the Belarusian, are doubly pleased. Probably no more such a plant object could be found, at the mention of which every Belarusian (and not just an IT person) would have clouded eyes (someone due to delicious grandma's pancakes, someone due to “put / dig ”) as well as from the mention of potatoes. So, ladies and gentlemen, today we are starting to look at potatoes. Since the story is long enough - be patient with popcorn . Today, under the cut, there is a brief historical introduction to potatoes, complicated by bulbashes and draniki.

Historical introduction - “points over i” about pancakes and bulbashes

I think it is no secret to anyone that potatoes are a gift from the American continent to Europe (as, by the way, tobacco, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc.). More specifically, it can be asserted with sufficient accuracy that all of the world's potatoes came from one single place (as well as all of today's bananas are descendants of the only banana bush in Southeast Asia) growing in the region of modern Peru and west of Bolivia. After millennia of cultivation and persistent selection work, more than 99% of the cultivated potatoes come from varieties that originally settled in the south of central Chile [ proof + proof ].

Note : Considering all the above, it is not surprising that the International Potato Center(which should be the “Mecca & Medina” for every true Belarusian, for some reason I will say below) is located in the capital of Peru, the city of Lima. The center is the repository of the world potato heritage - a collection of potato germplasm. By the way, the second keeper of the "world heritage" can be called the Scottish Agency for Agricultural Sciences , which oversees and constantly replenishes the ECPD database - an online repository of descriptions of existing potato varieties.

A challenge for the brave, dexterous, skillful
It is known that at the pre-New Year meeting with V.V. Putin, President of the Republic of Belarus A.G. Lukashenka brought four bags of potatoes to the Kremlin. Using the Scottish Agency for Agricultural Sciences varieties database mentioned above, find these varieties there. Tip : the bags were "Ruby", "Vector", "Manifest", "Nara"

An interesting addition from Mabusius user :
Potatoes are still very fond of New Zealand Mauri. They were smarter than the American Indians, so they did not want to give up their goods for beads. But the potatoes they went. So it came in that literally in a couple of decades, by the time of the second expedition to New Zealand, we had time to go over it thoroughly, and even then began to sell it themselves in a colony in Australia.

Potatoes came to Europe along with conquistadors and missionaries who actively explored the New World. As already mentioned, the main place of origin of potatoes is Chile and Peru. Traditionally, the Inca Empire was located in these territories. And won it, if someone does not remember the story, the Spaniards, led by Francisco Pizarro. For the first time about Peru became known in 1525 in connection with the completion of the first Southern expedition of Francisco Pizarro. On the crest of this wave was and the conquistador local historian, Pedro de Ciesa de Leon

It was this man who, in 1540, in the first part of his “in-flight magazine,” entitled “Chronicle of Peru,” described the potato roughly, compared its taste with the taste of baked chestnut, and recommended active use. Having read these books, in 1565 the Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Himines de Quesada brought potatoes to Spain instead of gold, which he did not find. For the Spaniards, the potato tubers appeared as another kind of truffle, so they called them “tartuffo”. Potatoes soon became a standard commodity on Spanish ships; they noticed that the sailors who ate dad (potatoes) did not suffer from scurvy.

At about the same time (and the same way - with adventurous conquistadors), the potato came to Ireland. It was first made in 1589 by the legendary Sir Walter Raleigh.(eng. Walter Raleigh, 1552-1618) - British researcher, historian, alchemist, and in general a person who is very versatile.

It was he who brought from America to his Irish estate Myrtle Grove potatoes and tobacco and began to cultivate. Thanks to him, tobacco ("virgin potion") began to smoke at the royal court (after Raleigh was executed for conspiracy, they found a pouch in his cell, which was embroidered in Latin: Comes meus fuit in illo miserrimo tempore - "He was my friend in the darkest times ”), and the potatoes served on the dinner party menu of Queen Elizabeth I. By the end of the 18th century, potatoes firmly took the place of the main product in the diet of Irish peasants, because in the humid and mild climate of the island it gave good harvests even on unfertile soils. For the majority of poor Irishmen, it was often potatoes in various forms that formed the basis of their daily diet. In peasant houses, potatoes have always been a part of dinner in one form, most simple to prepare, boiled in water. Tubers with peel boiled in a cauldron. The contents of the boiler were poured into a wicker basket.skeehogue ), who lets water through and family members, sitting around the basket and in front of the fireplace, were eaten directly from the basket with their hands. This process was immortalized by V. Van Gogh in his painting “Potato Eaters”.

Crop failure associated with the epidemic of potato blight caused a so-called. "The great famine of 1845-1849, " as a result of which Ireland lost 20-25% of its population. By the way, in the future on such a scale the epidemic never repeated again. Therefore, it is not surprising that in Ireland you can even find Christmas-tree toys in the form of potatoes ( did anyone see such toys in our “supposedly potato” country (BY)? )

The Irish sincerely believe that potatoes on the Christmas tree will bring good luck and prosperity to the house. And they can be understood ...

Life hacking : I think many people know (and even love, like your humble servant) a dish that is called " Irish potatoes ." In fact, it is sprinkled with spices and baked potato wedges.

So, the most important thing in such a potato is the maximum area of ​​a delicious crisp. And researchers from the University of Essex found a mathematically verified way of slicing potato tuber (now tell me that British scientists are idlers).

What do we have to do? And you must first cut the potatoes along into two equal parts, and then cut each of the halves again, at an angle of about 30 degrees. As a result, if everything is in order with the oven, the area of ​​the crunchy crust will increase by as much as 65%!

Well, no matter how hard it is, but from food we return again to our history. Following Spain and Ireland, the potato came to France (approximately around 1600). True, until 1772-1773, the cultivation of potatoes was banned. planting potatoes were banned (surprisingly, the South American Incas were ahead of the then Europeans ...). The reason for which only diseases did not call the potato was leprosy, and syphilis, and even infertility. It is not known how the fate of potatoes in France would be, if Antoine-Augustin Parmentier (eng. Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, 1737-1813) did not intervene for it - French military chemist, pharmacist, agronomist and botanist.

During the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) Parmentier was captured by Prussian troops and survived only thanks to the potato. In 1757, the Germans had already grown potatoes, but they believed that this vegetable was suitable only for pigs and prisoners of war (even though the Prussian king Frederick Wilhelm I had forcibly planted this occupation).

Addition from the user DGG about the "potato Germans":
In the German Offenburg from 1853 to 1939, there was a monument to Sir Francis Drake with a flower of potatoes in his hand and a dedication: “To Sir Francis Drake, who spread potatoes in Europe. Millions of farmers of the world bless his immortal memory. It is the help of the poor, the precious gift of God, which eases the bitter need. ”

In general, the Frenchman, after having taken a bite of German potatoes, was so impressed that in 1771 he won the contest announced by the French Academy of Sciences “the search for food capable of reducing the calamity of hunger” with his work “The Chemical Expertise of Potatoes” (for example, we’ll later :)). In 1772, the Paris School of Medicine officially declared potatoes edible, but ordinary people were still in no hurry to grow this vegetable. In 1785, Parmentier persuades King Louis XVI of France (1754–1793) to encourage the cultivation of potatoes. The king allowed him to plant 100 acres of unowned lands outside of Paris with potatoes, and at the same time the landings were kept under strict guard by state forces. The people became curious (“if they are guarded, it means a valuable thing”) and one night Parmentier dismissed the guards and allowed the peasants to “rob” their fields and distribute potatoes around the neighborhood. This move gave the desired effect, but such that Marie Antoinette (1755-1793), the queen of France, who was married to Louis XVI, already introduced the fashion to wearing potato flowers in her hair (it was because of her that women of that era wore potato hair) flowers). In memory of the works of Parmentier in France today, many potato dishes bear his name.

It is believed that potatoes were brought to Russia by Peter I from Holland. And he ordered - to breed :). I can not with the venerable historians of the Russian state, just say that it was not possible to divorce until the 19th century. Although tried. For example, reports of the Medical College, which reported to the Senate under Catherine II on methods of fighting hunger among the peasants of Finland, said that “without a big dependency”, the best way to help the starving people “consists in those earth apples, which in England are called potetes, and in other places earthen pears, cakebuffles ". To solve the problem, about 60 barrels (564 pounds) with potatoes for breeding (where Peter the Great is with his bag), but the potatoes either because “peremerz on the road” were written out from England, either because of the heating by church fables about the “devil apples” for a long time he was hated by the people and didn’t want to grow. This is even reflected in the so-called. potato riots, i.e. unrest caused by compulsion to grow potatoes. The Russian people "bread and kasheedov" fiercely did not want to give up turnips, cabbage.

The main "engine of progress", was, as usual, alcohol. Therefore, after the government allowed “free vykurka wine from potatoes at all plants and the reception of such wine, alcohol or vodka along with bread” - it went. It is worth mentioning separately the “first Russian agronomist”, А.Т. Bolotov, who in 1770, in his Notes on Toffee, or Earthen Apples, besides any description of agrotechnical measures, also called this vegetable more or less tolerably well (tarthos are much better than Potetes). Here it is, the Russian "Parmentie":

As a Belarusian, I cannot but tell you about the “potato popularizers” of our territories. Initially, they began to grow potatoes on the territory of the modern Grodno region, even under the King of Poland, Jan III Sobiesk (Polish Jan III Sobieski, 1629-1696), to whom someone presented a “bag of potatoes” during his liberation campaign against the Ottoman Empire threatening Europe (google) on the phrase "the battle of Vienna "). Further the party line was continued and supported by the Polish king Augustus III and his successor Stanislav II Augustus Poniatowski, right up to the first section of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The last king of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Stanislav Augustus, was very fond of potatoes; all serious researchers of Polish cuisine are aware of this.

In spite of the fact that Stanislav Avgust Ponyatovsky was the main “potato popularizer” and at his court this vegetable was very actively used, it was distributed throughout the country (and the then Rzeczpospolita is present-day Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Russia) slowly, absolutely with the same intensity as in other European countries. Popular recognition for potatoes came only to the 2nd half of the 19th century.

In general, in my opinion, Belarus can be called the “potato trendsetter”, among other fraternal countries (Ukraine and Russia), if only because we had an “introduction to the potato” rather under the French scenario, without riots. Potatoes occupied their niche much earlier than it happened in the countries mentioned. As some sources say, when Russian troops suppressed the rebellion of Kastus Kalinowskiin 1861–1863, the soldiers (many came from Siberia) were very surprised to see the potato fields, as they had never been acquainted with potatoes before. Just as the Germans and the British called the French scornfully "frogs", the Russian soldiers called the Belarusian peasants "Bulbash", because they massively ate something that was in their eyes "inedible". By the way, even today, Russian agronomists call a really inedible poisonous fruit (= "tops") of potatoes as a bulb. I would also like to voice an interesting story about the fact that it was the potato (or rather, its absence) that had the strongest demoralizing effect on the army in 1812 Napoleon. After all, while the guys were “resting” under Berezino, they could safely eat their usual product, potatoes, which were already actively grown in Belarus at that time.

If we seriously summarize the above, then we can say the following. Potatoes on the European continent passed a very difficult path, and in most cases the burden of its introduction "into the mass consciousness" fell on the most talented "leaders" who were forced to lead people to the light. It is not surprising that for a long time the “potato table” was the lot of only high-ranking persons. Although it is necessary to recognize that the then “managers” knew their business, there are studies in which the emergence and active introduction of potato into agricultural practice is called the cause of the demographic boom and the explosive growth of urbanization in Europe from the 18th and 19th centuries.

All of the “Belarusian difference” in the history of potatoes from Russian only in that Belarusians never had a cult of turnips and cabbage, and traditional Belarusian cuisine was generally based on oats (although few people remember this). Potatoes, of course, significantly diversified our cuisine, but it should not be absolutized and creating a new myth, like about pancakes ...

About pancakes say a word ...

If it's duniki, then it's not a dog's tongue. Dranik took the tail - it should be exactly standing, and not hang like a dog's tongue.
A.G. Lukashenko

Well, who does not associate Belarus with pancakes? Yes, all associate! Including Belarusians themselves. Moreover, if you ask about the second or third place of this gastronomic pedestal, then the absolute majority of the respondents most likely get quenched and cannot really say anything. Many foreigners want to try pancakes, often not even having time to get off the train at the railway station in Minsk ...

If you go back to the point, the pancakes are just pancakes made from grated raw potatoes. Where did the confidence that this is a Belarusian dish come from - I can't imagine (even Cumberbatchdo not understand IMHO). Some “experts” like to refer to a certain textbook for the “graduates of the culinary technical school”, published in 1830 by the Polish chef Jan Schitler . This chef is known that he was the main assistant to the court "potato chef" (hired by Stanislav Augustus Poniatowski), the "first European cook" Paul Tremo " Paul Tremo " (Piotr Paweł Tremo, 1733-1810). It was a student of Tremo who published a book called “The Cook, Well Prepared” (Polish. Kucharz dobrze usposobiony), and allegedly the first Belarusian pancake was mentioned for the first time (just like a banana bush, from which all bananas). So, personally, I didn’t even find anything close to the dranik standing there with the concept. Here is the linkon the excellent scan of the two parts of this book. If someone out there finds that same “pancake cartoons,” I’m happy to do an update of the article and sprinkle ashes on my head. In the meantime, this is not all, I will express my opinion on the "national Belarusian dish - pancake."

Since the potato was introduced in various European countries in different ways, the emergence of dishes from it also occurred in different periods. So regarding the pancakes of grated potatoes, it is necessary to mention that many nations have such a dish and often it has the status of “national” there. As I said earlier, the first potatoes were tested and introduced by Spain and Ireland. I will not say anything about the Spanish dranik (if someone complements them in the comments, I will only be happy),

UPD . added, glad :). Helped user AlePil :
In Spain, there is such a La tortilla de patatas , not quite a pancake, because the whole griddle with egg and onion. Rather a little grandma than a big pancake.
Italy. Trento. In Val di Non and Val di Sole, typical dishes are Tortel di patate , the recipe of which does not differ from the Belarusian pancake and torta di patate, this is the old woman already familiar to the author, with mushrooms and meat.
By the way, in Italy there is a brotherhood of dranik and grandmother (Italian - Confraternita della torta e del tortel da patate ), officially registered in 1998

In Ireland there is such a dish as boksti (English boxty, irl. Bacstaí).

Those. theoretically, it can be assumed that all the grated potato pancakes were derived from it (but “this is not accurate,” because history is not metagenomics ...). There are also Czech brabboroski (czech. Bramboráky ), Swiss röshti (German: Rösti, fr. Rösti or rœsti). By the way, comments from kababok users are perfect here :
In literary German, after all, “ryosti” (for some reason, I’m visually more impressed with the spelling of ryosti, but this is very unimportant) :)
But in the local Swiss dialect, р Roshty , yes.
At the same time, in order to emphasize the importance of, conventional the border between German-speaking and French-speaking Switzerland is even called “Röstigraben” - “Dranik moat”. :) östigrabenöstigraben

and Greendq (especially for those who want to find the right Swiss pancake):
Familiar Swiss (or rather, Swiss German) called this dish closer to the "Resti". Considering that he is also a cook with 30+ years of experience - I think this is the right name. Although it may be characteristic of only the inhabitants of the canton of Zug.

In different regions of Germany, this dish can generally be called completely different names: Kartoffelpuffer, Puffer, Reibekuchen, Reibeplätzchen, Reiberdatschi. In Austria, there is the name Erdäpfelpuffer . There is an analogue of dranik in Ashkenazi Jews, “potato pancakes” and aka “Bulba Latkes” (Yiddish לאַטקעס, Hebrew. לביבה). They are traditionally prepared on Hanukkah, a holiday based on the symbolism of the sacred oil, the very one on which the pancake is fried.

The user Bov87 shared an interesting map of the “distribution of names of grated potato pancakes on the territory of Ukraine” :

So, whatever one may say, but it’s right to count as Belarusian Wikipedia thinks
Danіkі - Belarusian name of іnternatsyyanalnaya Strava , nevalіkіh Aladak s dzerty bulba i muki, s nachinkai (s souls) abo without ya.

Because the dispute about the championship and the “national peculiarity” is not so hard to win, but simply impossible. To all fans of the national idea in the form of a pancake, I suggest we consider the following question. And this is not even the fact of the presence of potatoes, but the fact that there is a mechanism for its abrasion. I personally have never seen among the museum expositions the life of Belarusian peasants (up to the post-war years of the 20th century) anything like a grater, or a meat grinder. This suggests that even the dishes described in the cookbooks of the 1830-1860 are a menu for a masterly, by no means national, table. Naturally, various devices for chopping vegetables were already there, the landowner could order them from Moscow, at least from Paris. But ordinary people had access to various graters only by the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, along with the penetration of industrialization. And before that, what? And before that, the common people hovered potatoes, just like Siberians, turnip, pause, and made the necessary dishes from this mass. Like dumplings, for example.

Therefore, it would not be correct to say that “pancake is a national Belarusian dish” and that “real pancake is necessarily grated on a grater (only small ... only large, etc.) potatoes.” Although I fully admit that at one point, the excavations of our archeologists will be crowned with success and they will be able to show the old grater, which Belarusian peasants actively used in the 19th (and earlier) century to make grated potato pancakes (Belarusian. Tarkavaya bulba).

UPD from user Jarn :
About the grinder, XVI century. “Radish in Tsar Grad: rub the raw radish through a sieve ...” and it was a wooden sieve.

To rub through a sieve, really, could. But I can not imagine what kind of work it was, the preparation of pancakes for a large family. Yes, and how to create a non-disposable wooden sieve with the need for the size of the holes, it is hard for me to imagine. Although maybe there were some special "vegetable" sieves ...

In general, for now, if I honestly take more interest in the question of where and why dozens of the most interesting authentic national dishes disappeared and why all of them were replaced by this very pancake ...

By the way, for those who is oriented in the Belarusian language and wants to put together a rough impression about the traditional nutrition of Belarusians, I recommend watching an excellent series of documentaries that directly touch the issues of the national Belarusian cuisine ...

The history of the Belarusian struni
The history of the Belarusian strauni. Film 1. Soups and hearty foods

The history of the Belarusian strauni. Фільм 2. Meat industry

Гiсторыя беларуская страунi. Фiльм 3. Бульбяныя прысмакі

Гiсторыя беларуская страунi. Фiльм 4. Піва

This concludes the historical excursion. To be continued...

PS well, I really liked the comment by slavius
Angela Merkel commented on the treat of Lukashenka: he handed me a plate of golden pancakes and said that it was “pancakes”. I broke off a piece, put it in my mouth and here, byztsam tseudi neyki zaydusnitsya, the priest priests, and then went to the wind, and the summer evenings, nibyta ptushki lyutiu bleznenka-blessed i i so perfmyana pahtschts ya, i'm perfumed pahuchts ya blyznenka-bluchny i ​​i so perfmyana pahnch ya izha pryushki lyutiuts blessed-blue blessed i so perfmya pahnch ya izha pryushki lyutiu blessed-blessed i i so perfmyana pahnch ya izha pryushki flythin

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