A potato cake is usually made from deep-fried potatoes that have been thinly sliced or mashed.
In parts of England and America, a potato cake is a patty of hashed potatoes, a kind of hash brown. These are available both fresh and frozen in supermarkets, and are served by many restaurants, such as fast food restaurants like McDonald's, often as part of the breakfast menu. The term can also refer to a sort of potato pancake.
Another variant popular in the United Kingdom is prepared from cold mashed potatoes and fresh eggs. The two ingredients are combined, then fried until crisp on the outside.
In Australia, England, and Scotland
In Australia and England, potato cakes in the form of thin slices of potato, battered and deep-fried, are commonly sold in fish and chip shops and takeaway food shops (milk bars). The terminology used in Australia differs from state to state. In Victoria, Tasmania, the south-eastern and Adelaide regions of South Australia, and the Riverina and the Murray River regions of New South Wales, they are referred to as "potato cakes". In the eastern and northern regions of New South Wales, Queensland, and the ACT the term "potato scallops", or simply "scallops" (and to avoid confusion, scallops eaten as seafood may be known as "sea scallops"). In the central and peninsula regions of South Australia and in New Zealand, "potato fritter" is most common, while in Western Australia and Northern Territory it is a mixed bag as to which term is used.
Potato cakes originate from central England, but can also been found in northern England and Scotland. They are typically known by the name "scallops" in central England and "fritters" in the other areas and are common in fish and chip shops there. This variant is normally a thin slice of potato, dipped in batter and deep fried, with no additional flavouring added except salt and vinegar. This type of "potato cake" is also found in New Zealand fish and chip shops, however there it is referred to as a potato fritter, not scallop. More commonly in New Zealand, a potato cake is made from either mashed or grated potato and is not covered in batter or deep fried. Hash browns, which are also widely available, are distinctly different. In Scotland, what are known as potato cakes in Australia are known as potato fritters and are of the same type as the English variant. They are very common in fish and chip shops, and are often the cheapest item on the menu.
Irish potato cakes
Irish potato cakes are typically made from mashed potato, and either flour or baking soda, and are usually fried. This is not the same dish as boxty; boxty is made using raw potatoes, whereas potato cake is made using cooked potatoes. In Ireland, potato cakes are typically known as potato bread, or spud bread, and are served in traditional breakfasts along with soda bread and toast.
Scottish tattie scones and Lancashire potato cakes are made from mashed or reconstituted potato and flour, and baked on a griddle. They are typically served fried with breakfast, or as a snack with butter or margarine, although they are often served with other toppings such as baked beans, scrambled eggs, garlic butter, or tomato ketchup.
- "Mapping words around Australia: What do you call a battered, deep-fried potato snack?". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
- New Brunswick Potato Cake Archived 2006-11-08 at the Wayback Machine
- CBC Prince Edward Island - Features - Recipe Thief - Past Recipes