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Chapter 10, Page 15

February 23rd, 2015

Antoine is easily distracted by potatoes on Chapter 10, Page 15. Vivienne probably should be more interested in potatoes. If the French had adopted that tuber, the nobility (of which Vivienne is a part) may have prevented the French Revolution, as the failed wheat harvests played a large role in formenting discontent. Yes, it’s related to nightshade, and yes its fruit, leaves, and stems are toxic. But really, isn’t a little poison worth the French fries?

On a side note, Germany adopted the potato during the 18th century because of marauding foragers for the armies of all the wars in the 1700s. They could empty barns and burn crops, but digging up all the potatoes was too much work and you can’t really set fire to a potato field like you can with a wheat field. So that’s why Germany and eastern Europe became famous for their potato dishes while France did not. Potatoes fried in the French manner did not happen until near the end of the century.

When we were thumbnailing out this page,  Julie, Diane, and I had a long conversation about whether Antoine would be waxing poetic over potatoes or corn. We eventually settled on potatoes because (1) potatoes are funnier than corn, and (2) people in Québéc at this time would be aware of maize while potatoes are much more exotic. Julie captured the struggle of potato versus corn in today’s vote incentive on Top Web Comics.


21 Comments »

    Ed8

    It worked for me. Now I want some potatoes.

    Crestlinger

    Small potatoes when compared to what she’s Seen and is looking to acquire.

    Grim

    Don’t underestimate the potato! He’s right – it can revolutionize agriculture. It allows you to raise a lot more food in the same space – I don’t recall the exact numbers but the introduction of the potato to Ireland allowed its population to increase quite a lot. I believe it was triple, but I’m not sure.

    ‘course, that’s more of a “big picture” sort of thing, and doesn’t interest those who are expecting to fight a war…

      Sum Gui

      Food production is always of interest to those about to fighting wars.
      Having it, producing it, storing it, protecting it, taking it, destroying it, denying enemies from having it. (‘course, I don’t know how to store potatoes other than turning them into chips or hard tac)
      Amateurs worry about Tactics. Masters deal in Logistics.

      CaptEndo

      Those preparing to fight wars are definitely either into the “big picture” or they are planning to lose. A more important point in the long run: true wealth is bound far more tightly to the ability to produce an abundance of food than any other resource. One reason the north American countries will always be more wealthy and powerful than, say Saudi Arabia: the Arabians could swim in pools full of oil money, and give it all in order to have adequate food and water. In North America, we have so much fresh water and arable land we will always be internationally important. And, due to shear distances both internal and external, we can only be occupied by our own consent. Makes me feel better, that no matter how incompetent our present leadership could be, the bedrock of our nations can’t be ruined.

    Sum Gui

    Maybe she should be more interested in Potatoes. Might go better for her Great Grand children. Just saying, not everyone gets to eat cake. :-3

    Bill Meahan

    Two members of religious orders meet in Rome and compare notes. Both are cooks for their respective facilities. One is a Cistercian from Ireland the other a Franciscan from Nantes.

    Says the Cistercian: “I’m in charge of the fried potatoes and the others insist on calling me the ‘chip monk.’ ”
    Says the Franciscan: “I know what you mean. The others call me the ‘French friar.’ ”

    Rimshot!

    Michael

    Quite the odd place for fun facts about agricultural objects, but very fitting I think.
    Mmmm potatoes, the true master of soaking up gravy :)

    Potatoes are very important!
    They can go with every meal of the day, and you can make vodka from them!

    MH

    I love potatoes. Especially with garlic.

    Arcaton

    Mashed potatoes … wee bit of mustard…
    and a couple of fried eggs chopped into it.
    Perhaps some raw onion….

    Stampers Saverem

    How can anyone NOT be interested in da’ Spud!?

    They are the Elixir o’ Life!

    Not even Corn can compare….

    Seriously, did not a single one of you take the time to make THE BEST pun out of all of this? Fine. If I must, I must.

    Might as well face it, you’re addicted to spuds!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg6aiqMTxic

    Oh man, does this one actually know the world-changing significance of potatoes?!?

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