DID YOU KNOW . . .



It took a long time for potatoes to be accepted as something good to eat. People thought they were poisonous because they were a part of the nightshade family of plants. Many people thought they would cause leprosy, and others thought they were an inferior food fit only for the lower classes. When Irish immigrants brought them to the United States, it was thought that potatoes were only good for feeding animals. It wasn't until the 19th century that they finally caught on as something good to eat and became a popular crop. Now there are more than 1 million acres of potatoes planted every year, and potatoes are the number one vegetable crop in the world.

Saffron comes from the dried stigmas of a crocus, and it takes 225,000 stigmas to make just one pound. The flowers have to be picked early in the morning, and immediately workers extract the stigmas by  hand. It's easy to understand why they are by far the world's most expensive spice. According to a  Greek myth, a handsome mortal fell in love with a beautiful nymph. But she didn't love him, and changed him into a purple crocus flower. Romans used it to scent their baths.