My girlfriend came home from work yesterday and told me about an argument that had been going on. For some reason or another they had been discussing the introduction of the potato to Europe and one guy had claimed it was the British and everyone else got pissed off, claiming it was some Scandinavian guy (that she has now forgotten the name of).
Anyway, I had always assumed that it was the Spanish, so I did some poking around. Most sources say the Spanish introduced them, with the only source I can find mentioning the British is here:
“The introduction of potatoes to Europe happened at two independant instances: around 1570 in Spain, and around 1590 in England. However, the large-scale cultivation of the crop began only in the beginning of the 19th century.”
My only guess is that the Scandinavian my girlfriend’s workmates were on about is a Viking, but I thought they only reached North America and not South America (where the potato was).
So, who should get credit for introducing the potato to Europe and who on Earth is my girlfriend’s workmates blabbing on about?