Salt potatoes

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Salt potatoes
Salt Potatoes.jpg
Cooking salt potatoes
CourseSide dish
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateNortheast
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredients
  • Bite-size "young" white potatoes
  • Salt
  • Melted butter

Salt potatoes are a regional dish of Syracuse, New York, typically served in the summer when the young potatoes are first harvested. They are a staple food at fairs and barbecues in the Central New York region, where they are most popular. Potatoes specifically intended for salt potatoes can be purchased by the bag along with packages of salt.[1]

As the potatoes cook, the salty water forms a crust on the skin, and the higher boiling temperature allows the starch in the potato to cook more completely, giving a creamier texture.[2]

The standard recipe calls for one pound of salt for every four pounds of potatoes.[3]


The Syracuse area of New York has a long history of salt production. Salt springs located around Onondaga Lake were used to create consumable salt that was distributed throughout the northeast via the Erie Canal. Salinated brine was laid out to dry on large trays. The salt residue was then scraped up, ground, and packaged.

Salt potatoes originated in Syracuse and comprised most of a salt worker's daily diet. During the 1800s, Irish salt miners would bring a bag of small, unpeeled, substandard potatoes to work each day. At lunch time, they boiled the potatoes in salt brine.[1]


Salt potatoes are bite-size "young" white potatoes scrubbed and boiled in their skins. The use of red-skinned new potatoes is not considered authentic. The proper size of potatoes are Size B, Grade US No. 2.[1]

According to a recipe, the cooking water contains salt in a ratio of one cup of salt to six cups of water, giving the dish its name, unique flavor, and texture. After cooking, salt potatoes are served with melted butter.[2]

The resulting potatoes are creamy, as the starch in the potatoes cooks more completely due to the higher boiling temperature of the extra-salty water.[2][dubious ] The salty skin stands up particularly well to both herbed and plain melted butter.[2]

Salt potatoes in Germany[edit]


In Germany there is a dish with the same name, Salzkartoffeln. However, far less salt is used compared to Syracuse salt potatoes; also, the potatoes are peeled prior to cooking. So, despite the direct literal translation, Boiled Potatoes would be a more practical interpretation.[4] Salzkartoffeln is a popular side dish in many German meals. The name Salzkartoffeln is used to distinguish peeled potatoes boiled in slightly salted water from unpeeled ones, usually boiled without any salt. The latter is called Pellkartoffeln ("potatoes in peel") and is eaten with butter or quark cheese.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Syracuse Salt Potatoes". Just Good Eats, 2004. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Retrieved November 9, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d Severson, Kim (21 August 2008). "Recipe: Central New York Salt Potatoes". The New York Times 22 August 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  3. ^ "Liverpool, New York - Salt Museum". Roadside America, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  4. ^ "Dr. Oetker Rezepte - Salzkartoffeln". Retrieved January 31, 2015.

External links[edit]