Google Doodle honoured Eva Ekeblad - Who Made Alcohol With Potatoes

Google Doodle honours Eva Ekeblad the Swedish noble and scientist who created alcoholic drinks from potatoes on her 293rd birthday

Ekeblad had access to potatoes thanks to her wealthy heritage, and was a countess at the time of her discovery.

Ekeblad, who was born in Sweden on July 10 1724, was a noble and a plant scientist. She's not a household name unfortunately but she was the first to make flour and alcohol out of potatoes.

Raised in comfort among the nobility, Eva was married at just 16 to Count Claes Claesson Ekeblad, a Councillor of the Realm.

Today we we honor Eva Ekeblad's ingenuity and her scientific achievements.

Her sister-in-law, Catherine Charlotte De La Gardie, was also an interesting character: inventing a smallpox vaccine and intervening to stop Sweden's last witch trial in Dalarna in 1758. Ekeblad conducted experiments and brought potato flour to Europe during Sweden's food crises.




But the agronomist is more renowned for unearthing another potato creation: the production of alcohol, including vodka. Her discovery helped reduce starvation in years to come.

She was only 24 when she submitted her discoveries to the Royal Swedish Academy of Science. The doodle leads to a search for "Eva Ekeblad" and includes the usual sharing icon. She was the first woman elected into the academy (another female would not be elected to the academy for 200 years).

Despite her pioneering work, Ekeblad had her Academy membership downgraded to an honorary one in 1751 due to archaic bylaws on gender. In 1746, she understood that these vegetables could be cooked, dried and crushed to create a kind of flour fit for consumption by humans.

After falling ill she retreated to the country, spending her final years in Mariedal Castle until her death in 1786.

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