Kiss me, I’m Irish…potato

by | Mar 17, 2011

The N.C. Potato Queen visits former Gov. Robert W. Scott, left, in July 1969.

When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day, there are certain foods that come to mind: corned beef, cabbage and of course, Irish potatoes. Irish potatoes, which is a term used to describe a variety of white potatoes, are produced locally in the fertile soils of the coastal plain counties of Camden, Carteret, Currituck, Hyde, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Tyrrell and Washington.

In honor of St. Patrick and N.C. potatoes, we’ve prepared a list of N.C. potato facts that you can use to impress your friends at your local St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

  • North Carolina produces about 16,000 acres of potatoes a year.
  • North Carolina is the 15th largest potato producer in the country.
  • Potatoes are grown commercially in every state from Florida to Alaska.
  • Irish potatoes are a $25.5 million crop in North Carolina.
  • Seventy percent of N.C. potatoes are used to make potato chips.
  • The average American eats nearly 365 potatoes per year, or a potato per day.
  • One serving of potatoes provides 45 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C.
  • One medium sized potato contains 110 calories, or about the same as one glass of green beer.
  • Potatoes are a great source of potassium. One potato supplies 610 milligrams of potassium while a banana contains 450.
  • Each May, the N.C. Potato Festival is held in Elizabeth City. This year’s festival will be May 21.

If you want more information on N.C. potatoes, go to the N.C. Potato Association’s website. The organization provides consumer information, more facts, potato recipes and activities for children. We’d like to hear from you, what is your favorite way to eat potatoes?