The potatoes were soon a standard supply item on exploration ships. The Spanish noticed that the sailors who ate potatoes did not suffer from scurvy - a disease associated with too little vitamin C in the diet. Potatoes easily prevented this as it is plentiful in vitamin C.
Potato slowly spread throughout Europe. When introduced into Germany in the 1620s, the nutritional properties of the potato were finally acknowledged.
Frederick the Great, the Prussian ruler, ordered his people to plant and eat them as a deterrent to famine, a common and recurrent problem of that period.
Eat More Potatoes
Another helper to the fame of the potato is a French agriculturist, Antoine Augustin Parmentier. He made it his mission to popularize the potato after his time as a prisoner of war in Prussia. Parmentier succeeded with the help of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
Potato dishes were created in great variety and the potato became a delicacy enjoyed by the nobility. The French populace soon coveted potatoes for themselves.
As the popularity of the potato slowly accumulated, it eventually reached the US. Europeans brought the potato into North America in the 1620s when the British governor in the Bahamas made a special gift of them to the governor of Virginia.