Potatoes are underground tubers that grow on the roots of the potato plant, Solanum tuberosum. This plant is from the nightshade family and related to tomatoes and tobacco. Native to South America, potatoes were brought to Europe in the 16th century and are now grown in countless varieties worldwide. They’re generally eaten boiled, baked, or fried and frequently served as a side dish or snack. Common potato-based foods and food products include french fries, potato chips, and potato flour.