If there was ever a vegetable that has helped shape our national destiny, it’s the humble spud. A mainstay of our national dish, we serve it in a hundred different ways, and always insist on it being there for Sunday lunch. In fact, the potato is so much a part of our culture, it’s easy to forget it isn’t even British. On this day in 1586, Sir Thomas Harriot stepped off the boat in Plymouth. He had just returned from Sir Walter Raleigh’s English colony on Roanoke Island in modern-day North Carolina, where he had made detailed studies of the wildlife – and potatoes.
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