Report Hot Potato Tent

Date: Saturday 4 October 2008
Location: Wageningen

The Hot Potato Tent was a great success!

Saturday 4th October was this year the date of the Wageningen UR public outreach day in the form of Food4you (www.food4you.nl ). CBSG2012, the Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium (PGSC) and the DuRPh research programme (Duurzame Resistentie tegen Phytophthora), together with the Wageningen Catering College Rijn Ijssel organized one of the main attractions – The Hot Potato Tent! The reason we chose to concentrate specifically on potato was of course due to 2008 having been chosen by the United Nations as being the Year of the Potato (YOTP2008).

In the Hot Potato tent we had demonstrations on the different research programmes, showcases of the various food and non food products made from potato to emphasize the diversity of this crop and its importance to The Netherlands and the rest of the world. To improve the ambiance we had also given the Stichting Hooglanden Indianen – a foundation which assists local Andean tribes to develop their communities – some space to display their products and they also provided us with live music from two musicians from Bolivia. In addition, Catering College Rijn Ijssel made some Chinese and S. American appetizers from potatoes but the major attraction was of course the World Premier of potato-flavoured ice cream! Thousands of portions were handed out after ex-world skating champion and Olympic Gold Medal winner Yvonne van Gennip had given the first ever potato ice creams to a group of young skating talents from Wageningen.

More than 12,000 visitors visited Food4you and most of these will have been in our tent which was very busy right up to 6 pm. Comments were very positive and there were loads of questions to answer all day long – on anything from when will the potato genome be finished to why are my potatoes in the garden always green? The Mayor of Wageningen complemented us on having the best organized and best decorated tent and Aalt Dijkhuizen who accompanied Yvonne van Gennip stayed for more than half an hour asking questions and talking with various experts on a diversity of potato / DNA – related topics.

For a nice impression of the day please look at the photos taken throughout the day.

HPT 2

“Potato Art” made by schoolchilderen

HPT 3

DNA lab

HPT 4

CBSG stand

HPT 5

Potato Icecream