During the 18th century the potato became more common in Scandinavia. Initially, it was solely for eating, but when Countess
Eva Ekeblad in Sweden managed to render flour and starch from potatoes in 1774, it was not long before the first drops of
potato spirit appeared. The potato then swiftly took over the role of grain in producing spirits in Norway, not least because
of the fact that from any given patch of ground one could produce four times more spirit from potatoes than from corn.
To ferment potatoes they must first be boiled so that the starch is dissolved. Then add malt, which contains enzymes that
convert the starch to sugar. Gradually, the aromatic smell of boiled potatoes pervaded the Norwegian rural districts, and
the early 19th century saw the demise of grain as the raw material for spirit production in Norway.
This is probably when the humble potato was first referred to as “the grape of Scandinavia".