10 Health Facts You Didn’t Know About US Potatoes

As a kid, when I think about potatoes, french fries comes to mind. In my teenage years, I remember home-made dishes lola (grandma) used to prepare with square-cut potatoes including Bulalo (Beef-Marrow Stew), Kaldereta, and Affritada. Continuing, we reminisce on memory lane of mornings with hashbrowns we enjoyed with the ‘barkada‘ (group of friends) as young adults.

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Potato Potato Tomato Tomato *

“Potato potato Tomato tomato”. That was the tune playing in my head when I entered Restaurant 9501 found at the 14th Floor ELJ Communication Center, Eugenio Lopez St., Quezon City for the Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by the United States Potato Board (USPB) last November 14, 2011, 6:30 PM. I know I will be loading on carbs that night and somehow a scene in the movie “When Harry Met Sally” keeps popping in my head.

This would be my first time to be invited by the U.S. Potato Board through NomNomClub.com and I am curious what interesting potato dishes will be served to satisfy the guests’ cravings for this most-loved tuber.

Tomato Jam for the Potato Bread

Tomato Jam for the Potato Bread

As blessings literally poured outside (heavy rain after a very hot day) and inside (celebrating a cozy USPB Thanksgiving dinner) together with the distinguished guests of the US Potato Board, I fumbled on my seat for my camera. I wanted to capture the appetizer spread generously on our table. The most appealing to me is the abundant fresh fruits found on every table. All that is missing is a cornucopia and it would have been indeed a symbol of good harvest.

USPB Thanksgiving Dinner & US Frozen Potatoes

Attending the USPB Thanksgiving Dinner made me discover something new about myself. My love for tomatoes will reach a new level after tasting the tomato jam on a potato bread. So there is a reason for the tune in my head!  The tomato jam spread thinly on the homemade potato bread was delightful. I hope they can make potato crackers next time. That would be lovely with tea.

I was disciplined enough to just limit myself with one slice of potato bread because I know there is more potato dishes to come for the USPB Thanksgiving Dinner. Before indulging to our gluttonous desire for more USPB potatoes, we were graced with the presence of Chef Myrna Segissmundo who gave us a short introduction about her off-the-menu recipes using US Frozen Potatoes for the U.S. Potato Board Thanksgiving Dinner.

Truffled Mashed Potatoes Soup with Porcini Mushroom

Truffled Mashed Potatoes Soup with Porcini Mushroom

All that talk of turkey, potato and gravy is making the crowd hungrier, so without further ado, the second USPB potato creation arrived shortly. By this time, short introductions were made between the guests on my table which turned out to be a great conversation by the end of the meal.

I missed the potato in the Seared Scallops with Straight Cut Potatoes, Apple Waldorf Salad Basic oil but the Truffled Mashed Potatoes soup with Porcini Mushroom Froth was delectable. You have the truffle before and after, and all potatoes in between.  I was actually tempted to ask for a second serving and just enjoy it with the homemade potato bread.

The fruits were a nice way to wash the taste of the previous dishes and prepare my palate for the next one. I’m not much of a wine-drinker but I indulged myself with a glass for the USPB Thanksgiving dinner because I know it will be compliment my dining experience while eating turkey. The wine was semi-sweet not too dry and I did enjoy it a lot with almost all of my food.

The main dish is of course a turkey dish specifically Roast U.S. Tom Turkey with bread and nut stuffling, minted orange-cranberry relish, creamed spinach, candied crinkle-cut potatoes and giblet gravy. It was not my first time to eat turkey but so far this is one of the best I’ve tried. I miss having to cut the turkey though. That is half of the fun.

Thanksgiving Dinner with Roast US Tom Turkey

Thanksgiving Dinner with Roast US Tom Turkey

So what makes Chef Myrna’s turkey dish enjoyable for me?

It was the combination of the creamy spinach, the candied potatoes, and the turkey that did the trick. The main USPB turkey dish worked for me when I eat these three elements in that specific order.

Do you remember in the movie Ratatouille when Remy described the sweetness of the grape combined with the salinity of the cheese? Well that is how the main dish played inside my mouth. Alone the mashed spinach was creamy with a slight “earthiness” (because it’s a vegetable) then comes the sweet potato which is smooth and silky to taste. The two combined gives you a hint of earth and clouds then finally the turkey follows which is different from the texture of the greens and the potato. It gives you a little bit of something to bite but it will not distract you from the interplay of these three items in your dish. I must have enjoyed that main dish because I finished it, which is rare for me.

Among the five USPB creations of Chef Myrna Segismundo, I really enjoyed the soup and the main dish. There are so many things to be thankful for that day. But what made that meal truly satisfying were the new friends I met that day and the wonderful conversations we had. The food can be great but with no one to share it with it will seem bland. However, when you are amidst friends any meal, even boiled potato, will taste the best. Now combine the two and you have a dining experience of a king.

Apple Waldorf Salad

Apple Waldorf Salad

Know more about US Frozen Potatoes and USPB programs at http://www.potatoesusa.com or call Ms. Reji Retugal-Onal at 534.8534 / 534.8223.

*Contributed by Blogger Apprentice: Ia Adam-Lim.

Happy Thanksgiving Day to all and thank you to the US Potato Board! How about you, what’s your potato story? And what are you thankful for? Please share it with us.