Any political party can envy the popularity rating of potato among Ukrainian residents. In the International Year of the Potato, declared by the United Nations in 2008, Ukraine has a record high potato crop, about 20 million tons.
"In Europe only Russia produces more potato than Ukraine, while as to the amount of its consumption per capita we are the second in the world after Belarus," Ukrainian agricultural expert Andrei Yarmak said on Wednesday. He said potato is a staple food in the diet of Ukrainian people. "We consume it more than bread," he added.
Yearly, an average Ukrainian national consumes 150 kilograms of potato. According to the Kiev international sociology institute, about 70 percent of able-bodied population, including those living in cities, grow potatoes.
Ukrainians started eating potato back in the 17th century, while by the end of the 18th century it was grown in all Ukrainian regions.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko's favourite recipe is as follows. Potatoes are incised and lardon is put inside. They are salted, peppered, rolled into foil and put into the oven. Baked potatoes are served with slices of Danube herring, which, for its part, is served with vegetable oil, onion and lemon slices.