March 16, 2006 | 08:23 PM
Golden Age research
Sir Walter Raleigh is commonly known as the man that put the cloak down for Elizabeth and that sparked off a long affair. However Walter Raleigh was also famous for introducing Tobaco and Potatoes to Europe. Guess the origins of the word Potato ?
Yes - The earliest reference I have is 1565, from Sp. patata, from the Haitian batata "sweet potato." Ordinary potatoes were known as 'bastard potatoes' or 'Virginia Potatoes' (even though they came from Peru). They were not simply referred to as potatoes until 1597. William Harrison (1534-1593) in his Description Of Elizabethan England of 1577 refers to potatoes (although he may be referring to sweet potatoes. The word is clearly in use by then anyway.
How come the Marathi word and the Haitian word are exactly the same ? From as far back as before 1560, ? What kind of contact did we have then. The Portugese may have brough the Potato to India.