Parmentier, Peerless Potato Promoter
June 23, 2022 1:23 PM   Subscribe

Who made the potato popular in France? Largely, it was Antoine-Augustin Parmentier! At a time when the potato was feared and despised, he used a variety of novel marketing schemes to change the public perception: bouquets of potato flowers for the queen, lavish potato dinners for dignitaries and a potato field under armed guard. His name lives on in potato dishes named after him and a Paris Metro stop.
posted by snofoam (11 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Is Vichyssoise tasty?

I keep thinking to try to make it but I kinda get how to get a soup right if I've tasted it before but it sounds very mild and that's tricky to get right, like is it mild or just too mild, no taste. Perplexing.
posted by sammyo at 1:28 PM on June 23

why all the potato stuff on Metafilter?
posted by robbyrobs at 1:34 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]

Ghost of Parmentier, still pushing potatoes.
posted by snofoam at 1:35 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]

when i was lerning to speek fronch, we had to prownowns it

pommeuh de terrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrruh
posted by lalochezia at 1:56 PM on June 23

Is Vichyssoise tasty?

I really like it! My mom mainly made it hot, so it definitely had more wiggle room because of it, but it's pretty delicious and not too hard I don't think.
posted by Carillon at 2:05 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]

Max Miller recently did an episode of Tasting History about Parmentier: When Potatoes Were Illegal
posted by mubba at 2:25 PM on June 23 [3 favorites]

Hachis Parmentier is really good.
posted by SageLeVoid at 3:23 PM on June 23

What's fascinating about this story is that apparently, variants of this story exist in a few places, but also, none of them seem to necessarily be real? But it's very interesting, perhaps even more so, that there seems to have been some reason why this story seemingly existed in multiple parts of Europe.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:02 PM on June 23

We recently visited Paris and went to the Père Lachaise Cemetery. I got really excited when I learned he was buried there - "The potato guy?!?!" I exclaimed to my partner - and that I was going to see his grave. I love the story about the potato field and the guards.

Big, big fan of his work.
posted by urbanlenny at 5:13 PM on June 23

I seem to recall an argument a few years back on this very site wherein European origins were asserted for the fried potato, which I find almost ludicrously unlikely.

Vichyssoise is not worth the effort IME/O. There are far more tasty things to do with potatoes leeks and cream than purée and chill them.
posted by aspersioncast at 8:51 PM on June 23

Parmentier is probably my 4th most used metro station and those pictures of it on the wiki do not do it justice. It's a full on museum exhibit dedicated to the joy of potato.
posted by cirrostratus at 2:38 AM on June 24

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