(WYTV)- The humble potato: it comes from a wild plant in South America: northwestern Bolivia and the south of Peru.

No one else in the world had even seen a potato until the Spanish conquistadors brought them to Europe sometime around the late 16th Century. We’ve actually been growing potatoes for at least 7,000 years, starting in South America.

Today, there are around 4,000 different types of potatoes. Different potatoes are good for different dishes.
Each variety of potatoes has a different amount of starch, among other things.

Potatoes with higher starch levels, such as the Russet, are better suited to becoming French fries or hash browns. Lower starch levels will put potatoes in salads and stews. When in doubt, use a more all-purpose potato such as the Yukon Gold, good for boiling, roasting, frying, and mashing!

Potatoes belong to the same plant family as tobacco. Potatoes with a little green on them aren’t necessarily bad for you, it simply means that it’s been exposed to a bit too much sun during storage, converting that sunlight into chlorophyll.

In the right conditions, you can store potatoes for up to a year but that’s usually in a commercial warehouse at 39 degrees. Potatoes are not related to sweet potatoes. The only connection is that they’re starchy vegetables grown under the ground.

Sweet potatoes are actually just the enlarged roots of the sweet potato plant, they don’t even come from the same plant family. And potatoes were the first vegetable to be grown in space, aboard the Columbia space shuttle in 1995.