Potatoes only arrived in Europe from Peru in 1573, but at first nobody wanted to eat them. It was a French man, Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, who championed their cause. He cultivated a couple of fields in Paris in 1789, experimented in the kitchen and published a number of specialist potato cook books. Now you might think that he is responsible for inventing the French fry, but he only gets credit for Hachis Parmentier (Frenchshepherd’s pie), which is mashed potato with diced meat.