If there is one vegetable everyone likes, it has to be the good old potato. This vegetable is so popular that over half of Americans (55%) believe potatoes to be their comfort food.

It comes as no surprise, considering the versatility of potatoes. From crunchy fries to baked or mashed potatoes, this vegetable tickles your palate in many different ways.

According to the International Potato Center, over 4,000 varieties of potatoes are cultivated across the world. Potatoes also are rich in vitamin C and potassium, which makes them an excellent meal choice.

It is also the third most important food crop in the world after rice and wheat in terms of human consumption. More than a billion people worldwide eat potatoes and global total crop production exceeds 300 million metric tons.

Every year on Aug.19, the U.S. observes National Potato Day. So, if you are a fan of the spud, here are five must-try dishes to blow your mind:

1) Sweet Potato waffles: Bored of eating usual waffles? Well, making sweet potato waffles is a great way to use up leftover sweet potatoes. Mix cooked sweet potato and oats before pouring egg and milk. Blend again. Use the cooking spray for the waffle iron before making them. Waffles taste best with whipped cream, maple syrup and pecans.

2) Tuscan-style potato soup: Potato soups come in many flavors, including the Mediterranean style. But, the Tuscan-style soup can be a unique dinner idea. Make a puree out of cubed potatoes with roasted garlic, salty Romano cheese and chicken broth. Sprinkle kale pesto mixture and top with crumbled sausage and pancetta.

3) Potato Croquettes: These delicious little balls are perfect appetizers with a crispy exterior, creamy interior and savory taste. Mix boiled and mashed potatoes with cheese, egg yolk, salt and pepper to taste. A dash of nutmeg can add that extra zest. Once the mixture cools, make croquettes by rolling portions into approximately 2” balls. Dip it in flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs and fry until golden brown.

4) Grilled potato salad: Salads can never go wrong. Try out this perfect dinner menu by seasoning potatoes with dry rub and bacon drippings. Grill over medium-high heat. Add tangy mayonnaise-based dressing spiked with Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Your salad is ready.

5) Mashed potato truffles: If it can be an appetizer and main course, why not a desert? Use mashed potatoes to make truffles instead of heavy cream. Do not use leftover mashed potatoes that contain garlic, herbs, sour cream or excessive spices.

Representational image. Pixabay