If you visit Google today, you’ll find a unique illustration of wooden cutting board and peeled potatoes forming the word “Google” on the top of it along with the caption “Eva Ekeblad’s 293rd Birthday.” But, who is Eva Ekeblad anyway? Although Google Doodle gives a hint that this woman is a famous figure in culinary, but honestly, I’ve never heard of Eva Ekeblad name mentioned in any of my cooking classes.
Apparently, Eva Ekeblad is a genius Swedish countess that brought very useful findings to the culinary world. Her discovery in gluten-free baking, potato starch extraction, and potato wine making made her name carved as an influential person in culinary.
Eva Ekeblad Life: The Story
Eva Ekeblad was a genius woman born in Sweden, July 10, 1724. She was known to be the first woman recognized by Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences because of her groundbreaking findings in potatoes.
Unlike now, potatoes were not an everyday meal for human at that time. In fact, potatoes were considered as animal food. This plant was only available for aristocrat with a lot of money, even though it was already over a century since potatoes first arrived in Sweden (1658).
Despite all of potatoes’ low-class treats, Ekeblad believed that this vegetable had a lot more values behind its skin, especially after she heard that potatoes was used to create alcoholic beverages in Germany. Then she grew her own potatoes garden and started an experiment.
After years of research, she finally found that potatoes could be crushed and dried to form flour that can be consumed by human. Her discovery was pretty shocking for the society at that time, as potatoes were never considered to be “human meals” in Sweden. She reported her finding to Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and announced it to the whole Sweden.
Her potato flour discovery helped Sweden to rise up from the food crisis. It became a very helpful substitute to barley and oats, the common commodity in Sweden back then. Ekeblad’s discovery also helped a lot of Sweden citizen became less dependent on traditional foods and contributed big time to nation’s alcohol supplies.
Eva Ekeblad died at the age of 44, leaving 6 daughters and 1 son from her marriage with Claes Claesson Ekeblad in 1756 (Eva was 16). Her discovery, potato flour, is currently used worldwide and already become our everyday cooking ingredients found on the kitchen cabinets and recipes.
Image by depositphotos
Just so you know, Ekeblad was a very phenomenal figure to Sweden that time. Her finding was extraordinary that Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences didn’t accept another female scientist but her until 1951 (wow!).
What do you think about Ekeblad’s potato flour discovery? Have you ever heard of her finding before this article? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. And if you like this article and want to thank Ekeblad for bringing potato flour into our life, share this article!
Happy 293rd Birthday Eva Ekeblad!