A story in potato prints.

Christoph Niemann — Potato

This year marks the 300th birthday of King Frederick II of Prussia, also know as Frederick the Great or, locally, Old Fritz, who is remembered for his feats of guile on both the battlefield and the potato field.

Christoph Niemann — Potato

There once was a king called Fritz. One day he heard about a new wonder plant from South America: The potato.

Christoph Niemann — Potato

He planted a big field in a nearby village and preached to his subjects about the potato’s nutritional and economic virtues.

Christoph Niemann — Potato

The subjects did not want to be told what to eat and rejected Fritz’s potato endorsement.

Christoph Niemann — Potato

The king had an idea. He ordered his soldiers to march to the village and guard the potato field.

Christoph Niemann — Potato

The fortified field piqued the villagers’ curiosity.

Christoph Niemann — Potato

The king ordered the guards to go easy on the vigilance at night, allowing baited locals to steal the crop for their own gardens.

Christoph Niemann — Potato

The potato flourished and has lived on as a staple of the local cuisine ever since.

Christoph Niemann — Potato

The story may be just a myth. But to this day, people commemorate Fritz by putting potatoes on his tombstone.


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