A team of researchers have confirmed what I have known for a long time—all modern varities of potatoes can be traced back to Peru where small, purple tubers were gathered and eaten by native people as long as 7,000 years ago.
Led by horticulturalist Dr. David Spooner of the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, the Department of Agriculture study analysed the DNA of about 360 potatoes, both wild
"In contrast to all prior hypotheses of multiple origins of the cultivated potato,” Spooner said, “we have identified a single origin from a broad area of southern Peru," said the scientist, who spends two months a year collecting wild potatoes on treks in South America's mountainous regions.
Potatoes were taken from Peru to Spain by the conquistadors around 1570, and spread throughout Europe.They were later introduced in North America by British colonists. Source