Thursday, May 13, 2010
Hinerwadel Salt Tatties
Chalk up Salt Potatoes as another indigenous Upstate New York (specifically, Central New York) food that, in my younger days, I thought every American enjoyed in the early summer. It never dawned on me that these were peculiar to the region. Read the above linked Wiki article for the history of salt potatoes.
Usually around early May you will start seeing the white Hinerwadel brand bags of Salt Potatoes at the grocery stores.
In the bag you get a bunch of young, white potatoes and a giant sachet of salt.
The directions are simple, dump the salt pack into about 4 quarts of water, bring to a boil, throw in the potatoes and let it go for twenty or twenty-five minutes. A hallmark of the salt potato cooking process are the white streaks you will get down the side of your pot from the bubbling salt water.
You are probably thinking, "Potatoes? and salt? This is considered some sort of special dish?" I can't explain it, and maybe there is some sort of chemistry involved, but these particular potatoes cooked in the saturated salt water somehow come out different than other boiled tatties. Throw some melted butter on top of the tatties and you have a dish worthy of a king.
The firm skins kind of snap between your teeth, yielding to the salty and tender insides. Salt potatoes are great with any sort of grilled meat, and do a more than middlin' job at soaking up 8 or 9 afternoon cookout beers. Try them, I have seen the Hinerwadel bad boys at P-Chops so far.