Potatoes are one of the most highly consumed foods on the planet, with 368.2 million tonnes produced world wide in a given year. In fact, in 2014, they were named the fourth largest food crop on the planet, following corn, wheat and rice. They're a root vegetable that originates in North and South America, however today the three largest producers of potatoes are China, India and Russia. They were introduced to Europe by the Spanish during the 16th century and today are found in many culture's cuisines throughout the world. There are over 5,000 varieties of potatoes and 3,000 of those varieties are native to the Andes alone, growing in Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia. These varieties are then separated into groups, which include russet potatoes, red potatoes, white potatoes, yukon potatoes and purple potatoes.
Potatoes can be consumed in many different forms, which range from baked potatoes to mashed potatoes to French fries to potato chips. Potatoes are also been used to make certain alcohols, notably vodka. Potatoes and the culture of potato consumption has been captured by a number of fine artists throughout history, including Vincent Van Gogh who created the painting titled "The Potato Eaters" in 1885.
In 1949 potatoes entered the world of popular culture in an entirely new way through the Mr. Potato Head toy. Mr. Potato Head was sold commercially by Hasbro in 1952 and became the very first toy to appear in a television advertisement. Mr. Potato Head hit the big screen in 1995's "Toy Story," with the legendary comedian Don Rickles portraying the toy. Mr. Potato head went on to appear in all four films in the franchise, meeting his wife Mrs. Potato Head (voiced by Estelle Harris) in the first sequel.
In honor of National Potato Day, which falls on August 19th, we're celebrating this popular vegetable with 38 of our favorite potato tattoos from talented artists around the world. Check out the tattoos in the gallery below, then let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section on social media.