During the last 15 years of the 16 th cent. there entered into Ireland, how is not definitely known, the potato, which was revolutionary in its impact. By 1657, according to Geo. O'Brien, the Irish economist, the potato was the staple food for the poor, the index of a low living standard.
- Geo. Potter, To the Golden Door, 1960, p. 29 ( Ind. State Lib.)
During the famine the Irish looked back on the good old days. "Och, we sure had everything we wanted in the potato, God bless it; we had only to throw a few of them in the hot ashes, & then turn them, & we had our supper" (Irish Farmer's Gazette, May 27, 1848). The Irish appetite, trained over a pot of potatoes, had little yearning for bread & meat. In the steerage sick children cried for potatoes.
A writer in Dublin Penny Journal (Aug. 1832): "On winter nights when the storm is sweeping over the hills, & the rain is pattering furiously against the door, how happy, how truly felicitous to sit in a circle all round the fire, to hear the pot boiling, to see the beautiful roots bursting their coats, & show their fair faces, to hold the herring on the point of a fork till it sizzles into an eating condition, to see the milk pouring out into all the jugs, and to see the happy faces and listen to the loud laughter of the children - Oh! Give me a winter night, a turf fire, a rasher of bacon, and a mealy potato!"
- Marcus Hansen, The Atlantic Mig., p. 202-03
(No wonder they soon planted it on B.I.. - HC)