Looking at ‘ta•pu•ach etz, the apple, the reason for the two words in its name is to indicate that it is a ‘tree apple,’ versus today’s word, potato, ‘ta•pu•ach a•da•ma’ (literally, a ‘ground apple’).
Ta•pu•ach a•da•ma, potato or Solanum tuberosum in its scientific name, is not mentioned in the Bible. Originating in South America, it was brought to England by Sir Francis Drake in 1586, despite many stories that gave the credit to Sir Walter Raleigh and claimed that he also brought it to Ireland. From 1650, potatoes were considered the main agricultural product of Ireland. The first mention of potatoes in the US was by Irish settlers in Londonderry, New Hampshire in 1719.
Although not a biblical vegetable, ta•pu•ach a•da•ma is associated with Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. A popular holiday dish is called le•vi•va (plural, le•vi•vot), or in its better-known Yiddish name, ‘latke’ and ‘latkes.’ The le•vi•vot are potato pancakes that are shallow-fried pancakes of grated or ground potato, flour and egg.