The Syracuse Spud

salt potatoes_MG_8915 aThere’s Something About the Salt – in Syracuse
Forget smothered and covered, try salted and buttered.

The Syracuse, New York, area is known for its history of salt production. During the 1800s, salt springs located around Onondaga Lake were used to create table salt that was distributed throughout the northeast by boat along the Erie Canal.  Irish salt miners would bring a bag of small, unpeeled, substandard potatoes to work each day and for lunch, they would boil the potatoes in the “free-flowing” salt brine.  Hence, the origination of a regional favorite in Syracuse was born — the salt potato.

What sets this potato apart from sprinkling salt on a Yukon gold?  Salt potatoes are smaller and rounder than the average spud.  When cooked in the required 2 cups of salt, it gives the skin a nice seasoning and crispy exterior, while leaving the inside tender and creamy. Don’t let the 2 cups of salt scare you away, as it doesn’t permeate the flesh of the potato but rather, seals the potatoes so they never taste waterlogged.

Typically served in summer when the young potatoes are first harvested, they are a given at any outdoor function.  No matter what type of gathering, whether its a home bbq, a local field days festival or the Great New York State Fair, the salt potatoes will be there, served in a bowl and saturated in melted butter.

If this is a new experience for you, make sure to try the best – Hinerwadel’s Famous Original Salt Potatoes. The first packaged salt potatoes were sold by local entrepreneur, John Hinerwadel in the 1960s. Today, the company sells a million bags of salt potatoes annually.

More photos here –>


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