I can’t think of too many foods that salt does not enhance the flavour of….and these Salt Potatoes are no exception!
The dish originated in Syracuse, New York in the 1800s. Consumable salt was made by drying the salty brine bubbling out of the local salt springs. The Irish workers at the salt spring would boil their lunch potatoes in the salty brine.
As their popularity grew they became a staple of Central New York fairs and BBQs.
Tradition is for young, white, bite size potatoes to be boiled in a brine of 1 cup of salt to 6 cups of water. The salt forms a crust around the potato so less water is absorbed during cooking. Also, the higher boiling temperature of salt water cooks the potato starch more evenly resulting in an even creamier texture.
Salt potatoes are served drizzled with melted butter.
At one time this dish was a seasonal dish when young small potatoes were first available. Now that gourmet potatoes are in stores year round you can make them any time!
Recipes vary the salt to water ratio. In Central New York John Hinerwadel started serving salt potatoes as a side to his seafood. He later began packaging five-pound bags of potatoes along with a 12-ounce box of salt and labeled them Hinerwadel’s Famous Original Salt Potatoes. To date, the Hinerwadel family has sold millions of bags of salt potatoes, and they are still counting.
I ended up using 1 cup of salt to 10 cups of water and I was pleased with the ‘saltiness’ level.
Put the scrubbed, unpeeled potatoes in a large pot with the salt and water and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. This may take 20 minutes or so depending on the size and shape of your pot. Reduce the heat and boil the potatoes about 20 minutes until they are tender when pierced with a fork.
Drain the potatoes in a colander. The salt film will form as the water evaporates off the potato skin. Serve hot with melted butter for drizzling or dipping.
Try these Salted Potatoes in my take on Poutine at Home!