Patate! The potato exhibition at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris

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Published by Julie M. · Photos by Julie M. · Published on 7 December 2018 at 18h55
From December 5, 2017 to January 6, 2019, potatoes are given pride of place at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie. For over a year, head to the greenhouse of the Cité to know everything about this tuber that is now the world’s first non-cereal goods.

What a funny idea that displaying an exhibition about potatoes, known by everyone! And yet, Paris Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie offers you – from December 5, 2017 to January 6, 2019 – to discover an exhibition created by the Forum Départemental des Sciences in Villeneuve d’As called Patate! [Potato!]

Head to the main greenhouse to discover this playful and poetic 200-sqm exhibition about this tuber and world’s first edible goods after cereals.

The exhibition evolves around three steps of potatoes’ life cycles: growing, harvesting and consuming.

  • GROWING: the plant and its farming

How does the potato grow? What is its growing cycle? What are the conditions vital to its smooth growth? Is sweet potato its cousin?

The vegetative cycle of the potato seedling and the various steps of its developments are explained, and a documentary movie presents the portraits of female and male farmers who have different cultivation methods.

Work conditions, onerousness of the farming tasks, impact of the mechanization onto lifestyles and relationships between producers and food-processing industries are also brought up by strong records.

  • HARVESTING: harvesting and processing

Despite their looks, potatoes are fragile. This second part pays attention to a vital step of their growth: the sprouting of the tubers. Separated by stems and leaves, rich in starch, tubers become a genuine raw material, convertible by food-processing businesses.

Visitors have fun discovering the harvest and the process. The module “Auscultez-moi” [Examine me] allows them to detect, with a stethoscope, the damage (scars, scratch…) on potatoes, shocks with serious consequences during the storage time.

A wall of objects allows to see all kinds of products containing potato starch: Autochrome Lumière, lipstick, match, diapers, talc, plasterboard, wallpaper paste…

  • CONSUMING: consuming the tuber

The food has several eating forms. A linguistic game around the crazy recipes based on potatoes allows to see the strong bound with this food. Elsewhere in the world, in addition to eating it, some animist cultures developed a strong spiritual relationship with this tuber.

A trip to the Andean mountains, where everything started for the potato, to understand how this tuber is seen as a natural element possessing a spiritual essence.

In short, a mashing and appeeling exhibition!

Practical information:
Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie
From December 5, 2017 to January 6, 2019
From Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
And Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Recommended from 8 years old
Exhibition area rate:
Regular: €12 / Reduced: €9
The ticket gives access to all Explora exhibitions, the Planetarium, the Agronaute submarine and the Louis-Lumière cinema

Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
From 5 December 2017 to 6 January 2019



    30 Avenue Corentin Cariou
    75019 Paris 19


    Métro : ligne 7, station Porte de la Villette.
    Bus : lignes 139, 150, 152, station Porte de la Villette.
    Tramway :T3b, station Porte de la Villette.

    Tarif réduit: €9
    Plein tarif: €12

    Recommended age
    From 8 years old

    Official website

    Book your tickets
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