The potato is an immigrant, coming from the Andes Mountains in South America or, by some accounts, possibly from the western coast of Chile. Potatoes showed up in Europe in the 1500s.
It is by far the most popular vegetable in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 47 pounds of potatoes — chips, baked, mashed and fried — are consumed per U.S. resident every year. Growing potatoes is a $3 billion dollar a year business.
The leading producers are Idaho, Washington and Wisconsin.