Tater Tots

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Tater Tots
Nephi Grigg Tater Tots Inventor Oreida Founder.jpg
Grigg Tater Tots Truck.jpg
TaterTots.jpg
A close-up of a plate of Tater Tots.
Alternative names
Tots, taters, potato goodness, potato rounds
Type Side dish, snack
Place of origin
United States
Region or state
Ontario, OR
Creator F. Nephi Grigg, and Golden Grigg[1][2][3] (in 1953)
Serving temperature
Hot (shipped frozen)
Main ingredients
Potato
Food energy
(per serving)
160 per 86g serving[4] kcal
Cookbook:Tater Tots  Tater Tots

Tater Tots, is a registered trademark of Ore-Ida (a division of the H. J. Heinz Company). A tater tot is a side dish made from deep-fried, grated potatoes.[1] They are widely recognized by their crispness, cylindrical shape, and small size.[citation needed]

History[edit]

The product was created in 1953 when Ore-Ida founders F. Nephi Grigg and Golden Grigg[1][2][3] were trying to figure out what to do with leftover slivers of cut-up potatoes. They chopped up the slivers, added flour and seasoning, then pushed the mash through holes and sliced off pieces of the extruded mixture.[1] The product was first offered in stores in 1956.[5]

Originally, the product was very inexpensive. According to advertising lectures at Iowa State University, people did not buy it at first because there was no perceived value. When the price was raised, people began buying it. Today, Americans consume approximately 70 million pounds of tater tots per year.[6][7]

Etymology[edit]

"Tater" is slang for potato (origin: 1750–60; America; by apheresis, "tato", and substitution of -er for final -o, "tater"); "Tots" may have been derived from their diminutive size, or because they are often served to children.[8][9] In some regions, the term "tater" is dropped, and the snack is informally called "tots".

Usage[edit]

United States[edit]

In the United States, tater tots are common at school-lunch counters and cafeterias.[7] They're also sold in the frozen food sections of supermarket.[7] Some fast-food restaurants also offer them.

The supermarket chain Safeway Inc. has a generic brand, "Tater Treats". The Sonic Drive-In drive-in fast-food restaurant chain also features "Tater Tots" as a regular menu item, with the option of cheese, chili, or both as toppings; tots with cheese are branded "Cheesy Tots". Cheesy Tots are coin-shaped and, as implied by the name, contain melted cheese as well as potatoes. Several restaurants in the Pacific Northwest offer a nacho version of tots ("totchos"), covered in nacho cheese sauce and toppings.

Some Mexican-style fast-food restaurants offer seasoned Tater Tots: Taco Time and Señor Frog's call them "Mexi-Fries", while Taco Bell used to sell them as "Mexi-Nuggets" and "Border Fries". Taco Mayo in the Southwest offers round disc-shaped tater tots called "Potato Locos." Taco John's also has coin shaped tots called "Potato Olés".

In some areas of the Northeast, however, they are often called "juliennes" or "potato puffs". In the Midwest states, Tater Tot Hotdish is a very popular soup-based casserole consisting of tater tots, ground beef, and various vegetables. Tater Tots are extensively referenced in the film Napoleon Dynamite.[10]

Rest of the world[edit]

In Australia, they are known as "potato gems", "potato royals" or "potato pom-poms" (also used in New Zealand). In the United Kingdom, Ross Frozen Foods once produced "oven crunchies" which are no longer available, but are still produced and sold under the name "potato crunchies" by supermarket chain Morrisons. In Canada, McCain Foods Limited calls its line "Tasti Taters". Cascadian Farm calls its line "Spud Puppies".

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Tater Tots at Wikimedia Commons