The Humble Potato – 430 Years A Staple And Everyday Family Favourite



Synonymous with Ireland, few people realise that the humble potato actually originated in Peru. In fact, it was around 8,000 B.C to 5,000 B.C that the Inca Indians first cultivated potatoes. In 1536, Spanish Conquistadors conquered Peru, discovered the potato, and carried them to Europe.

It was only in 1589 that Sir Walter Raleigh introduced potatoes to Ireland; on 40,000 acres of land near Cork. It took nearly four decades for the potato to spread to the rest of Europe, but it was an instantaneous hit with the Irish. Since then, the potato has even made its way to space. It’s the first vegetable to be grown in outer space and is capable of sustaining astronauts on their voyages. That’s out of this world (excuse the pun).

Potatoes – the fourth largest crop in the world!

So why potatoes? They’re the fourth largest food crop in the world following rice, wheat, and maize but historically in Ireland they have played a firm favourite in family dinners. The potato is a complete meal. By itself, the potato contains all the fibre, nutrients and carbohydrates to make it nutritionally sustaining, hence why it was a staple for 8 million Irish in the 1800’s.

The potato is still very much a food choice of today – with all it’s various forms, we can easily consume potatoes each day. But as a health-conscious society is ever evolving, some may opt for boiled or jacket potatoes as opposed to chips and crisps (our guilty pleasures).

So how can potatoes form part of a healthy diet? As a general rule of thumb, potatoes are healthy as long as they are not accompanied or made with too much cream, butter or cheese. A medium potato contains around 164 calories and 30 percent of the recommended daily B6 intake. Evidence also suggests that potatoes help reduce inflammation and constipation, and may help prevent osteoporosis, maintain heart health, and reduce the risk of infection. That’s a whole host of benefits from the hearty potato.

Potatoes – Same Ingredient, Multiple Meal Accompaniments

Gone are the days where our potato accompaniments consisted of only boiled or mashed varieties. Potatoes nowadays are so much more interesting and appealing to the young and old. Here’s our 7-day guide to potatoes – a different way every day in collaboration with Peka Kroef.

Peka Kroef offer a fantastic variety of chilled potato products. This popular convenience potato range is ideal for added value meals and foodservice, as potatoes are carefully peeled, parboiled and freshly packed to capture all flavour and nutrients.

Catering to all audiences from the health conscious consumer, to the foodservice business, Peka Kroef  have something for everyone. Traditional mash and baby boils are a firm favourite alongside more modern spiced, flavoured and creamed influences, from Mexican to dauphinoise.

Here’s just 7 of their many chilled potato options, with convenient, quick and easy meal suggestions to cover the whole family for a week of dinners.

1. Peka Kroef Potato Wedges with Rosemary

Simply serve with a steak burger in a brioche bun or try your own tuna melt potato wedge dish, perfect as a standalone dish.

2. Peka Kroef Jacket Potatoes

Jacket potatoes baked in their skins are a healthy and simple meal. Serve with salad and top with turkey bolognese and feta cheese. Cooking and eating the skins also helps to preserve the nutrients.

3. Peka Kroef Mexican Potatoes

Mexican Potatoes – a twist on traditional potatoes, this flavoured potato variety is best served with homemade guacamole and pulled pork or chicken.

4. Peka Kroef Baby Boils / Parisienne Potatoes

Baby boiled pre-cooked potato products are perfect to make a healthy potato salad. Simply add freshly chopped garlic, mint and olive oil and serve with your favourite meat dishes like barbecue, grilled pork and chicken.

5. Peka Kroef Dauphinoise Potatoes

Dauphinoise Potatoes are a French inspired creamy delight and perfect accompaniment to fillet steak and roasted vegetables.

6. Peka Kroef Mediterranean Gratin

Mediterranean gratin potatoes encompass the flavours of the Mediterranean regions. The gratin is best served with grilled fish or Souvlaki, a popular Greek food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer.

7. Peka Kroef Roast Potatoes

Peka Kroef Roast Potatoes

Roast potatoes – last but not least. The perfect accompaniment to your Sunday roast with honey roasted carrots and parsnips.

Potatoes don’t have to be boring, make them as healthy (or unhealthy!) as you wish or serve with carefully chosen accompaniments and garnishes to fill and sustain the family, whilst making mealtimes fun. You’ll find all of the above and more in the Peka Kroef range.

Peka Kroef is a family business that specialises in fresh chilled potato products. Since 1970 they have been constantly pushing the boundaries of products and production methods in order to provide Retail, Food Retail and Foodservice markets with even better service, which means even fresher, even easier and even tastier products.

Get in touch if you’d like more information on our Peka Kroef range and prices.


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Potatoes are the fourth largest food crop in the world following rice, wheat, and maize but historically in Ireland they have played a firm favourite in family dinners. The potato is a complete meal. By itself, the potato contains all the fibre, nutrients and carbohydrates to make it nutritionally sustaining, hence why it was a staple for 8 million Irish in the 1800’s. UMC stock the Peka Kroef range of potato accompaniments – eat a different potato dish every day.

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