Tag Archives: Potatoes

Have You Tried the World’s Most Popular Alcohol?

Jinro is a brand of a South Korean liquor called Soju. Producing 161 million gallons (608 million L) annually Jinro is also the most sold spirit in the world. In fact, it outsells Smirnoff, Bacardi, and Johnnie Walker combined!

Traditionally, Soju is a drink that starts out as rice wine (much like Sake) before getting distilled into a liquor. Today stage 1 of Soju is made not only with rice, but alternatively wheat, barley, potatoes, sweet potatoes, or tapioca.

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Is Potato Vodka a Polish Preference?

While Vodka is sometimes made today with Potatoes, it was not originally so. The Potato—which originated in Peru—did not arrive in Europe until more than 200 years after the birth of Vodka.

Furthermore, unlike common cereal grains and fruits, the starch in Potatoes does not readily convert to yeast-friendly sugar. In 1809 The Perfect Distiller and Brewer—a Polish publication—declared that Potatoes make for the worst Vodka.

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Ever Had Peruvian Potatoes?

Today Vodka is made from all kinds of starches like rye, wheat, corn, peaches, grapes, and Potatoes to name a few. Have you ever been lead to believe that it was the Potato that served as the original ingredient in making Vodka?

Vodka has been around since at least the early 1500s. Unfortunately for purveyors of this myth, Potatoes actually originated in Peru (South America). They would not cross the Atlantic and become a mainstay in Europe until the mid 1700s.

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Potatoes are from Peru

In 1809 the Polish publication The Perfect Distiller and Brewer declared that potatoes make for the worst quality of Vodka. Unlike the starches in Cereal Grains (barley, wheat, rye, etc…) the starches in Potatoes do not easily convert in to the sugars that yeast can digest.

By the way, Potatoes are native to Peru. They did not become a mainstay in Europe until the mid 1700s—just 60 years before the above scathing review of Potato Vodka was published.

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