Today, Friday 5th October 2018, is National Potato Day and people all over the country are being encouraged to recognise the nutritional value of the potato and experiment with new and exciting recipes from Bord Bia’s potato recipe website Potato.ie. At the first ever Rooster Festival in Teagasc, Oak Park, Co Carlow today, Bord Bia launched a ‘Potato Survival Kit’ for students. The guide is jam-packed with time-saving tips, nutritional advice, simple potato recipes and handy video links for secondary school and third level students.
Physical and mental energy
Speaking to the secondary school students gathered today, TV Dietitian and National Potato Day Ambassador, Aoife Hearne said, “Despite the many myths out there, carbohydrates are not bad for you as our bodies need all the food groups. Just like with other food groups, it is the amount and type of food you eat that is important. Carbohydrates are essential for growing teenagers and should be a key ingredient in lunchboxes as it is the only energy source that is readily available for the brain to use. Carbohydrate is not only essential for your physical energy, but also for your mental energy.
Potatoes served cold in salads or hot in soups can make a great alternative to lunch-box staples such as wholegrain bread, pita breads or wraps. Eaten alongside protein and good fats will ensure that you will be fuller for longer and not as vulnerable to the less natural foods that are readily available in vending machines and local shops. As teenagers and young adults, you need to be set up for success when it comes to healthy eating and top of that list is basic cooking skills – something as simple as how to cook potatoes is a good place to start!”
Basic cooking skills
At today’s event, Aoife Hearne was joined by Chef Padraic Óg Gallagher from the Boxty House restaurant in Temple Bar who demonstrated some simple food preparation and cooking skills for the gathered students. The most popular recipes included wedges, baked potatoes and rosti.
Speaking to the group, Padraic Óg said, “In value for your euro, you will find it hard to beat a bag of spuds. Potatoes can be the perfect breakfast, brunch and dinner vegetable – all you need is a few simple skills and some imagination! When I cook potatoes, I always prepare enough to last for a week. After dinner, the leftover cooled potatoes can be stored in either Tupperware, ziplock bags or a simple container covered in clingfilm in the fridge. Leftover refrigerated mash makes wonderful potato cakes which can be flavoured with curry powder or fresh herbs.”
National Potato Day 2018
Lorcan Bourke, Fresh Produce & Potato Manager, Bord Bia said, “The theme for National Potato Day 2018 is “Imagine A World Without Potatoes” tying in with a global campaign which was launched by the Peruvian International Centre for Potatoes (CIP) earlier this year and will run until 2020. The initiative calls on consumers to appreciate the role potatoes have worldwide in providing employment, nourishment and food security and we are delighted for the Irish potato industry to be a part of it.”
As part of the annual celebration, a range of events, talks and promotional activity are taking place around the country including:
- The Carlow Rooster Festival (5th -7th October)
The first ever Carlow Rooster Festival takes place this year to coincide with National Potato Day. This event has been designed to celebrate the Rooster potato and its proud links to Carlow, over the last 40 years, where it was bred by Teagasc in Oak Park Research Centre.
- ‘Feile an Phráta’ – Dingle Food Festival (5th – 7th October)
‘Feile an Phráta’ is an annual festival run by a community group in West Kerry to celebrate the history and heritage of the potato across eight parishes in the Dingle Peninsula. This year the group will celebrate 10 years by hosting a stand at the Dingle Food Festival which starts today.
- Spud Fest, Newbridge House (6th October)
This free, family fun day is being hosted by local farming businesses, Country Crest and Keoghs Farm, in celebration of Ireland’s staple food – the mighty potato!
- The Irish Farmers Association potato growers are also hosting a range of regional events with local schools around the country today.
Recipes and Information
With more than 140 potato recipes to choose from, Bord Bia’s Potato.ie website is brimming with ideas and offers something for everyone. With breakfast and brunch options such as Mexican Huevos Rancheros and Potato Pancake with Smashed Avocado and Smoked Salmon; lunch dishes like Atlantic Seafood Chowder and Asian spiced Potato Crab Cakes with Rainbow Slaw; and dinner favourites including a Hot Wok Potato and Beef Stir-Fry and Light Massaman Chicken and Potato Curry.
For further information on National Potato Day and to access recipes, cookery tips, blogs and videos visit www.potato.ie.