Raleigh’s Plant


Sir Walter Raleigh, an English statesman and navigator, who lived in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, sailed across the sea to America in search of new lands and introduced the potato from America into England.

Shortly after getting the first crop, he sent some to a friend. Next spring, the friend planted the potatoes, which soon gave an excellent crop. When the ” potato-plums”, as he called them, were ripe, he took some of them to his cook, who fried them in butter, and put sugar and cinnamon over them. In this condition they were set on the dinner-table as a great rarity. The balls, however, tasted unpleasant, and it was decided that the fruit could not ripen in the cold English climate. The gardener was therefore ordered to pull up the plants and burn them, and he did so.

It happened that the gentleman stepped on one of the baked potatoes as it lay in the ashes. When it broke open he noticed that it was white and had an agreeable smell. He tasted and found it very tasty. The proper method of cooking the new vegetable was soon learnt, and in a short time it became a universal favourite.

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