I was at the grocery store the other day when I stumbled upon this miraculous invention:
A microwave potato. Or as the package calls it, an “Easy-open Micro Baker Potato” providing “oven-baked potato taste from the microwave in just minutes.” Oh. My. God. I exclaimed over this incredible invention and pondered aloud, “What have they done to this potato to make it so microwavable, so easy? Is it pre-baked? A special breed of potato, perhaps?”
I peeled back the informational sticker to learn more, to discover the secret that led to this patented potato breakthrough. And to my amazement, I found: nothing. It seemed to just be a regular old potato sealed in plastic wrap. Baffling. I immediately called everyone I knew to try and get to the bottom of this. They must all know about this incredible advancement in spud science. And then my mom told me a wondrous thing: all potatoes are microwavable.
“No mom, no. This potato is special. It says so on the package.” I attempted to sell her on the wonder of oven-baked potato taste from the microwave in just minutes, but she was unfazed and continued to deny the superiority of my miraculous microwavable potato, rambling on with her crazy talk about all potatoes being microwavable. Yeah mom, sure. Whatever.
But I was intrigued and decided to continue my investigation by testing her theory. I got home and washed a normal, clearly inferior potato and wrapped it in a damp paper towel and plastic wrap as she had suggested (after poking it with a fork a few times to make sure it cooked evenly). Apparently some people skip the paper towel and just use plastic wrap, but something about enshrining my food entirely in plastic and nuking it kind of freaks me out. At least the towel provides some sort of barrier between the chemical toxins and the edible stuff. Just don’t try tin foil. Trust me.
“Here goes nothing,” I exclaimed, anticipating the five minute microwave joy ride that would lead to this poor potato’s destruction. Strangely, nothing happened. The potato didn’t explode or pop or liquify or turn into a poisonous gassy substance. I took it out and cautiously placed it on a plate, prodding it with a fork to make sure it didn’t try anything funny.
“Okay, well there’s no way this thing is gonna taste good.” I braced myself, clutching my ketchup like a shield. I was totally prepared to drown the disgusting taste if need be, but I could not let this poor little spud go to waste. I hesitantly took a bite of my nuked potato, chewing like my tongue was going to fall off or evaporate. And then, incredibly, I didn’t die. I put down the ketchup and dropped my guard enough to actually taste the thing. And it tasted…like a potato. Like an oven baked potato.
My life will never be the same. And maybe, from now on, I’ll listen to my mom just a little bit more.