Oh Yum, Tater Tots.

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Once upon a time, many years ago, a few brothers had just started a frozen food company to make, among other things, french fries. But what to do with the scraps of spud left behind? These potato pieces were too small for proper fries, but there were too many of them to be discarded. 

One day in 1953, the brothers came up with a delicious solution: They chopped up the potato scraps, shaped them into bite-size cylinders, then fried them golden and crunchy.

And the famous Ore-Ida Tater Tots were born.

As the last almost 60 years have proved, a plug of shredded potato 11/2 inches long, 7/8 inch in diameter — has been an enormous success. An estimated 3.5 billion Tater Tots are eaten by Americans every year, according to an associate marketing director for Ore-Ida.

Tater Tots are so golden they have morphed from brand to cultural phenomenon. After all, what would the famed hot dish casserole of the northern Midwest be without that crowning layer of tots?

It’s a tremendously handy potato item that people can use to put together a meal.  Tater Tots and its imitators long ago jumped from supermarket freezer cases to restaurant menus across North America. Many chefs make their own as do home cooks.  

While Tater Tots bring back childhood memories for many of us, they also have a very adult connotation as well.
Whether you make your Tater Tots from scratch or rely on tried-and-true Tator Tol originals, ketchup is often the condiment of choice.  For a different spin, try a cheesy dip, a spciy chipotle mayonnaise, or a quick soy-based sauce.
Source:  chicagotribune.com, 10.17.12

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