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Humboldt doubted whether this root was a native of South America; but it has been found growing wild both in Chili and Buenos Ayres. It was first brought to Spain from the neighbourhood of Quito, in the early part of the sixteenth century, first to England from Virginia, in 1586, and first planted by Sir Walter Raleigh, on his estate of Youghal, near Cork, in Ireland. Thence it was brought and planted in Lancashire, in England, and was, at first, recommended to be eaten as a delicate dish, and not as common food. This was in 1587.

Nutritious Properties

Of a thousand parts of the potato, Sir H. Davy found about a fourth nutritive; say, 200 mucilage or starch, 20 sugar, and 30 gluten.


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The Book of Household Management (1861).

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