We love potatoes in all shapes and forms. Whether it’s mashed, fried, grilled – we love them all, but for some of us, who are bored of the usual options, the tater tots are the way to go. The tater tots are like a mini hash brown, usually in short cylindrical shape and we love it because it’s such a fun dish to eat.
You can have it while you’re at the movies; at the bar while you’re having a few drinks with your friends and even while you are waiting for your dinner to arrive. It is a dish for everyone.
What are Tater tots?
Better known as Tater tots, it is another variation of potato fries made by grating the potatoes, binding them together with eggs and deep-frying them. It’s a fun finger food to enjoy and some even elevate the dish by adding grated cheese or truffle oil.
Fun Fact, tater is short for potatoes, and ‘tots’ is just a reference to its small, cylindrical shape. It’s typically golden and crispy on the outside and soft, with a little bit of texture on the inside.
How Tater Tots Started
The Tater tots were an invention made by mistake, created in 1953 by F. Nephi Grigg and Golden Griggs, the founders of the Ore-Ida company. They were looking for a way to make use of the extra cut-out of potatoes that were produced by their company to reduce wastage.
During their experiment, Nephi and Golden decided to chop up the leftovers further, added some flour and seasoning to the mixture and mashed them through holes. They then decided to chop up the mashed potatoes into tiny shapes before calling them, tots. The company decided to trademark the invention, and it was officially released to the market in 1956.
Initially, the tater tots were sold at a meagre price as they were seen to have less value than other potato-based products like the French fries. Over time, the price started to increase as people began to consume them more. Today, some of the frozen tater tots are priced higher than the typical string-cut fries or potato wedges.
Today, Americans consumed close to 32 million kgs of tater tots every year. In the UK, Australia and New Zealand, tater tots are better known as potato gems, potato poms and even hash bites while in Canada, manufacturing giant McCain Foods Limited market the tater tots as ‘Tasti Taters’
Regardless of the names, one thing is for sure – we can snack on them at any time of the day and thanks to Nephi and Golden’s attempt to reduce wastage, we now have one of the best potato dishes ever created.
Where to get Tater tots in Malaysia
You can get the frozen tater tots in almost every supermarket in Malaysia like Tesco and Cold Storage. If you’re looking for a full meal with tater tots on the sides, head over to Movida in Petaling Jaya instead and order their Braised Lamb Shank. The meal is served with a side of tater tots and grilled vegetables. Visit foodpanda to learn more about western dishes!