Amazing how different the history of the world can look when you spend the day with some French people. Eating hachis parmentier for Epiphany on Sunday (a dish which looks suspiciously like Shepherd's Pie to me) I learned that Antoine Parmentier, not Sir Walter Raleigh, was responsible for giving the potato to cuisine.
But that's not what we were told at school, where we all drew nice
pictures of Sir Walter planting his Irish fields with the new delicacy.
Or for that matter, how they told the story on Blackadder,
that repository of British historical folk knowledge. So where does the
truth lie? Maybe the UN can spend a bit of time in its slightly
bonkers-sounding Year of the Potato getting to the bottom of this cross-channel battle for pomme de terre supremacy.