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Potatoes and barley are staples of British dinnerplates. Originally from the Peruvian Andes, potatoes journeyed to Britain in the sixteenth century and became side and centrepiece in all manner of meals. Barley's British history stretches back thousands of years, with malt long central to beer production. Despite these long histories, both crops were transformed in the twentieth century to suit a changing environment. In this talk, we'll uncover the hidden histories of the Maris Piper potato and Maris Otter barley—both developed at Cambridge's former Plant Breeding Institute and introduced to the market in 1966—which have become two of the most popular varieties grown in Britain today.

A talk with Helen Curry and Jessica Lee of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science for the Cambridge Festival. Book on the Cambridge Festival website.

Wednesday, 31 March, 2021 - 18:00
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