“Boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew!” It’s National Tater Day!

National Tater Day, observed annually on March 31st, originated in the small town of Benton, Kentucky in 1843. Aside from the celebratory aspect of welcoming spring—among the Tater Day festivities are a parade, carnival rides, and a Miss Tater Day pageant—it was established as a market day and it remains that longest running market day in the United States. The focus of Tater Day, at first, was sweet potatoes (which are not potatoes, btw), a major cash crop at the time. As Tater Day grew to include and, then, be dominated potatoes, a separate day was established for sweet potatoes, the creatively named Sweet Potato Day.

@bdylanhollis The wonders of the humble potato #vintage #baking #cooking #donut ♬ original sound – B. Dylan Hollis

I love potatoes. I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like; I love ‘em all! (Even the sweet potato, however botanically separate from potatoes.) And, as it happens, so do folks everywhere. Especially, on the internet: did you know that there is even a Potato TikTok? You do now! What’s not to love about these tubers? They’re delicious. They’re nutritious. They’ve been, quite literally, life-saving and world-changing. And they are incredibly versatile.

@bdylanhollis The recipe that finally broke me #baking #vintage #cooking #candy ♬ original sound – B. Dylan Hollis

I have actually made this Depression-era recipe and it is so tasty!

One of the downsides of the worldwide proliferation of potatoes is the loss of variety. In the Andean mountains, the origin of potatoes, there had been hundreds of types, often varying between neighboring villages. For centuries now, as potatoes have become such a staple of diets around the world, we’ve been relying on monocultures of potatoes making the plants more susceptible to blights and pests. One man, in particular, is changing that—Manuel Choqque. He started out with a more conservationist approach, collecting and growing varieties from other nearby communities. Called The Potato Whisperer by Atlas Obscura, Bravo is creating brand new varieties. He is also working with the International Potato Center as they research how different types of root vegetables and tubers can become sustainable, climate-smart crops that are nutritious and—of course, they’re potatoes—delicious.

Manuel Choqque manages to blow the notoriously cranky Gordon Ramsay away with his jewel-toned tubers.

With so many people worldwide having love affairs with potatoes, there are virtually endless recipes for potato dishes. Which leaves me peeling a bit overwhelmed on National Tater Day: there are so many potatoes to eat and so little time!

In all seriousness, potatoes are everywhere and there are so many dishes I want to try! Since the most appropriate—and delicious—way to observe National Tater Day is to chow down on some taters, sit down with your tots and enjoy your favorite potato-based comfort food or grab your best spuds and try a potato dish you’ve never had before. To that end, I’ve compiled a non-exhaustive list of recipes for potato dishes from around the world that I am so excited make and eat! My goal is to try each of these dishes before the end of the year and you are more than welcome to join me!

And to inspire you in the kitchen, I’ve even put together a potato-themed playlist (caution: there are a few instances of a swear word being used)!

From Europe, I have found dishes from Ireland, Germany, and Ukraine, one of which I’ve had but never cooked and two that I’ve never tried before.

  • Colcannon is a traditional dish in Ireland and it gives my taste buds whatever the taste bud-equivalent of a sense of hygge.
  • Germany’s Bratkartoffeln is hard to pronounce but, with this ingredient list, it will certainly be easy to swallow!
  • I bet you’ll never guess where the Ukrainian Dill Potatoes come from! The ingredient list is short and the recipe is simple and it sounds like it will taste delightful!

 

Image by James Hill on Pixabay

From Africa, I’ve found a recipe from West Africa and a recipe from Ethiopia that I want to try first. I am so excited to scope out more African recipes and to expand my repertoire in the kitchen with some new (to me) flavor profiles from all parts of the continent.

  • Potato Hot Pot sounds like the comfort food I need in my life right now and it might be one of the first recipes I try off this list!
  • Atakilt Wat contains one of my favorite veggie combinations: potatoes and cabbage. This recipe—between the heft of the potatoes and that tiny bit of a kick—looks like it will be perfect when that first little chill of fall hits.

 

Like with the rest of the continents and general regions, I found so many recipes out of Asia that I want to try, it was hard to limit myself. I managed to whittle it down to three but it was difficult and I will definitely be bookmarking the others that made the not-so-short shortlist.

  • Mongolia’s Khuushuur is the winter food I didn’t know I needed until now: a large pastry, filled with piping hot meat or potatoes or meat and potatoes, and served with cabbage-based side. This is 100% up my alley.
  • Gamja Jorim looks so good and, aside from the mirin and the rice syrup, I usually have all of these ingredients in the house. Tasty and convenient—another one of my favorite combinations!
  • I have had Aloo Matar before but I have never tried my hand at making it. I will soon have to remedy that because looking at this recipe definitely gave me a hankering for the northern Indian dish.

 

From the western hemisphere, I’ve selected three heavy contenders and I am thrilled by the idea of chowing down on all of them!

  • What list of tasty potato concoctions is complete without the inclusion of Canada’s Poutine?! Honestly, I am all about the combination of potatoes and cheese regardless but the combination of fried potato and cheese curds is something special—and that’s even before you get to the gravy!
  • I have always been and will likely always be a meat-and-potato kind of kid and Picadillo is totally my jam. I cannot wait for the scent of Picadillo to waft through the house.
  • And, lastly, from the birthplace of potatoes, I am determined to try Papa a la Huancaina! This spicy, creamy potato dish just looks so good! I only wish I had some of Manuel’s Miskioca to wash it down.

 

Happy National Tater Day, y’all! Now, roll up those sleeves and dig into the taters of your choice!

via GIPHY

@bdylanhollis This can’t keep happening #vintage #cooking #baking #cake ♬ original sound – B. Dylan Hollis

Lead Photo by Marco Antonio Victorino on Pexels, derivative work by Jessi-James Grey

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