The Potato is a starchy, tuberous crop. The word potato refers to the plant and the edible tuber. Potatoes were introduced outside the Andes region four centuries ago and are now an important part of the world's food supply. It is the world's fourth largest food cropfollowing maize, wheat and rice. The single origin of the potato came from Southern Peru and it is believed that all potatoes come from that strain. In Peru they were domesticated between 7000 to 10,000 years ago. There are now over 1,000 different types of potato. It remains an essential crop in Europe. As of 2007, China led the world in potato production.