In reality, there isn’t a specific time known as the “invention” of baked potatoes. It was simply a potato tuber cooked in the embers of a fire or inside an oven, and the process was incredibly basic and likely existed for much longer than we can imagine. As for who discovered it:
Potatoes were discovered by the Incas in the years around 8000-5000 BC.
The Incas experimented with different ways of consuming potatoes and discovered the method of cooking them in fire.
Throughout history, potatoes have been consumed in various methods, including this one.
Mr. Kumpir, on the other hand, played a significant role in the evolution of kumpir by combining baked potatoes with butter and cheese, turning it into a wholesome dish filled with healthy and natural salads.
The Historical Journey of Potatoes and Kumpir
- Origin of Potatoes (8000 – 5000 BC): Potatoes are a plant that naturally grows in the Andes Mountains region of South America. Initially, they weren’t used as food by humans but rather as part of plant cover and in religious ceremonies.
- Spanish Discovery (16th Century): Spanish explorers brought potatoes to Europe when they discovered America. During this period, as potatoes became recognized and started spreading in Europe, there were varying assessments of their value in terms of agriculture and nutrition.
- Spread in England and Europe (18th Century): Potatoes started becoming more common, especially in England and other European countries. In Ireland, potatoes became a significant food source and rapidly gained popularity.
- Irish Potato Famine (1845-1852): A major catastrophe occurred in Ireland due to potato diseases. Millions of people died or were forced to emigrate. During this period, potatoes were of crucial importance as a basic food source for survival.
- Development of Kumpir Recipe (Second Half of the 20th Century): The kumpir recipe began to develop, especially in the second half of the 20th century in Turkey. The idea of boiling potatoes, scooping out the insides, and stuffing them with various ingredients became popular as street food.
- Popularity of Kumpir (1980s – Present): Kumpir gained popularity as a street food in Turkey, especially from the 1980s onwards. Kumpir stalls started appearing in Istanbul and other major cities. Over time, the kumpir recipe and variations were developed, offering a wide range of options.
In conclusion, the process leading to kumpir from potatoes involves the discovery of the plant, its recognition in Europe, events like the Irish Potato Famine, and the evolution of kumpir into a modern street food favorite.