L.) is not only a fascinating species, but also one with an exceptionally colorful history. Over the past 300 years, interest in the crop has vacillated widely. During times of crop failure and food shortage (e.g., potato famine, during and after World War II) or high petroleum prices, a new round of interest in the crop’s potential often occurs, all too frequently with only a limited understanding of the extensive body of literature already available. More recently, renewed interest has been spurred by its potential as a feedstock for the synthesis of a diverse cross section of new products, an awareness of its significant health benefits when included in human and animal diets, and the possibility of utilizing it for the production of biofuels.