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kottke.org posts about potatoes

Groundhog Day, But With Potato Chips

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 01, 2024

I don’t know exactly what this is, but it appears to be an ad for Lay’s potato chips made by Jimmy Kimmel Live? But whatever, it’s great: a Groundhog Day-inspired clip starring Ned Ryerson (Stephen Tobolowsky) himself that’s perfect for hawking a bajillion different flavors of potato chips. (via @ironicsans)

How to Make the Potato Chip Omelette from The Bear

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 12, 2023

If you were left hungry by the food in season two of The Bear, Binging With Babish has got you covered. In this video, he recreates the potato chip omelette that Sydney makes in the second-to-last episode of the season. And then, he makes an adjacent dish, José Andrés’s tortilla española with potato chips. Just to contrast, here’s Andrés making it:

Double yum. See also How to Make Perfect Soft-Scrambled Eggs, Hey, Let’s Watch Jacques Pépin Fry Eggs (and make omelettes), and 59 Ways to Cook Your Eggs.

How to Make Potatoes While Dread Presses In from Every Direction

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 25, 2022

John Green shares his technique for roasting potatoes while fighting “the creeping sense of dread” that many of us may be experiencing right now.

All right, let’s make some potatoes. You want enough potatoes that they will sustain the sack of flesh that contains your soul for several hours. And ideally you want these little red potatoes, which you then cut into sixths — or eighths if they’re too big. Don’t overthink the size of your potato wedges but also don’t underthink it. This is the key not just for cooking but also for most things.

(via @jackisnotabird)

The Potato Photographer of the Year 2021

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 18, 2021

a girl wearing a necklace made out of potatoes

a potatoes with shoots sprouting out of it

men sorting potatoes

giving a potato a fake haircut

I am a little embarrassed (and surprised!) at how up my alley this is, but behold: the winners of the Potato Photographer of the Year competition for 2021. (via @jackisnotabird)

Tater Tetris

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 04, 2014

I went to the newish Barcade in Chelsea last night to get some dinner and play Star Wars (and Ms. Pac-Man and Tetris and Donkey Kong) and discovered their tater tots are shaped like Tetris pieces:

Tetris Tater Tots

ИOM ИOM ИOM. You can get these tots from a company called US Foods; they call them Puzzle Potatoes. Their sell sheet for the product is a wonder of corporate wishful thinking masquerading as marketing.

Here’s a menu item that will encourage kids to play with their food.

Yes! This is exactly what all parents want. Huge parental issue in America right now is that kids don’t play with their food enough.

When baked, these innovative Puzzle Potatoes are a fun and healthier alternative to regular fries…

Tater tots are not a health food. That’s the whole point. Also, aren’t regular fries also healthier when baked?

Puzzle potatoes are new innovative and interactive potatoes for kids.

Imagine the meeting. “Bob, what can we do about these smartphone? Kids just aren’t spending enough time with their potatoes anymore. Instead they’re Facebooking and Flappy Birding. Wait, I know… interactive potatoes!” [Cut to Bob being paraded around the office on his coworkers’ shoulders]

Our proprietary puzzle-piece shapes…

Well, someone else’s proprietary puzzle piece shapes, but why quibble with details?

Features & Benefits… 2D or 3D

I don’t. I can’t. What does that even mean? The sell sheet for these should be super simple: a photo of the tots and this caption in all-caps 120-point type: THEY’RE TATER TOTS SHAPED LIKE TETRIS PIECES! BUY THEM, YOU FOOL! (thx, kathryn)

How the Potato Changed the World

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 06, 2011

In recent years, authors have claimed that many seemingly boring things have changed the world but a particularly strong case can be made for the potato and Charles C. Mann makes it.

The effects of this transformation were so striking that any general history of Europe without an entry in its index for S. tuberosum should be ignored. Hunger was a familiar presence in 17th- and 18th-century Europe. Cities were provisioned reasonably well in most years, their granaries carefully monitored, but country people teetered on a precipice. France, the historian Fernand Braudel once calculated, had 40 nationwide famines between 1500 and 1800, more than one per decade. This appalling figure is an underestimate, he wrote, “because it omits the hundreds and hundreds of local famines.” France was not exceptional; England had 17 national and big regional famines between 1523 and 1623. The continent simply could not reliably feed itself.

The potato changed all that. Every year, many farmers left fallow as much as half of their grain land, to rest the soil and fight weeds (which were plowed under in summer). Now smallholders could grow potatoes on the fallow land, controlling weeds by hoeing. Because potatoes were so productive, the effective result, in terms of calories, was to double Europe’s food supply.

Mann talks more about the potato in his excellent 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created.

How to Make McDonald’s Fries at Home

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 03, 2010

It involves finagling some uncooked frozen fries from a local McDonald’s under the ruse of a scavenger hunt. Kenji Lopez-Alt explains.

I’ve been literally giddy with the quality of the fries that have been coming out of my kitchen for the last two days. My wife won’t hear the end of it. Even my puppy is wondering why his owner keeps exclaiming “Holy s**t that’s good!” every half hour from the kitchen. I’ve cooked over 43 batches of fries in the last three days, and I’m happy to report that I’ve finally found a way to consistently reach crisp, golden Nirvana.

Here’s the full recipe/instructions. BTW, Kenji’s series of posts on Serious Eats is one of the best things going on the web right now (you might remember his sous-vide in a beer cooler hack). Passionate down-to-earth writing about cooking and food backed by some serious skills and scientific knowledge…it’s really fun to read.

Potato Bins

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 17, 2009

How to construct a build-as-you-grow potato bin. Start with a base and some potatoes planted within it and then just keep building up and dumping in dirt. Come harvest time, the box will be full of potatoes.

I’m told a rule of thumb for potato harvests is 10 pounds per pound of seed. I got 25 pounds for my one pound, so I guess I shouldn’t be too disappointed about the results of my first year planting potatoes. Still it’s nowhere near the 60 pound average that Greg Lutovsky’s customer’s experienced. In hindsight I think I got lazy in hilling my potato plants as they were growing. Sometimes I would let them get to be 8 or so inches tall and jungle-like before dumping more dirt in and covering the stems.

The streets of Marin are slick with

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 28, 2005

The streets of Marin are slick with potatoes au gratin. Terrorist attack? If so, how long before possessing a bag of Yukon Golds wins you a free trip to exotic Guantanamo Bay?