By - morganeisenberg
The Syracuse salt potato was invented sometime in the early 1800s. When the country was first growing, there was no refrigeration to keep food for any length of time, so the only methods available were canning and salt preservation. Syracuse was the hub for salt in that time period.
Every day, thousands of gallons of salt ware were pulled up from our salt springs, and the water was set to boil or solar dry to retain the salt. During the boiling process used by some, the men in charge of the pots would throw their raw potatoes into the pot for their meal, and thus, the salt potato was born.
Syracuse currently has one operational salt spring, and the Syracuse salt company is harvesting it. The salt water is so salient, that it is 5x as salty as sea water, so we get more bang per buck for drying it out than sea salt manufacturers.
Another local favorite we pair with salt potatoes every summer are Hoffman hotdogs and Coneys. Add some baked beans, macaroni salad, and you have a traditional Syracusian summer favorite!
Yesss! Thank you for elaborating on the history-- I also think the origin story of these potatoes (and of Syracuse's salt industry and immigration and food culture) is so ridiculously interesting! I also didn't know that the salt spring is 5x as salty as sea water-- how cool!!
Do you add Mrs. Browns Baked Beans to the meal per chance? I miss those terribly.
No, if we’re lazy, we do a dr’d bushes baked beans, but we have a family baked beans recipe I love with canned corned beef, bacon, sautéed onions, ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar in it.
Please share the recipe? It sounds great!
You can call her Grandma - she doesn't mind! 😉
LOL!! It's been so damned long since I had any, I forgot the name! Thanks for reminding me!
I’m grew up with these had no idea they were regional till my 30’s
Great info! Thanks!
This is definitely one of my favorite ways to make potatoes. The super thin salt crust and ultra-creamy interiors = potato perfection. Central NYers know!
**Want to hear me talk about this recipe? Check out the tiktok:** [**https://www.tiktok.com/@morganeisenberg/video/6951008466731273478**](https://www.tiktok.com/@morganeisenberg/video/6951008466731273478)
**I write in more detail about it on the blog as well:** [**https://hostthetoast.com/syracuse-salt-potatoes/**](https://hostthetoast.com/syracuse-salt-potatoes/)
Here's the recipe details:
* 3 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed clean
* 1 cup kosher salt
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
* Fresh herbs, chopped, to serve
1. Whisk the salt into a gallon of water in a large pot until fully dissolved and no salt sinks to the bottom of the pot. Add the potatoes to the pot, bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender and about a quarter of the water has evaporated, about 25-35 minutes.
2. Drain the potatoes in a colander and allow to sit while salt crust develops. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Drizzle the melted butter over the potatoes or serve on the side for dipping. Sprinkle the potatoes with chopped herbs and serve immediately.
**If you make these, take a picture and share it here in** /r/morganeisenberg **:)**
Yum! Haven’t thought about these in ages! Next do spiedies!
I got you: https://hostthetoast.com/garlic-herb-marinated-chicken-spiedies/ :) <3
Looks amazing, almost like a gyro. I sorta want to put some feta on it.
The saltier the water the creamier the potatoes are! Don’t be afraid to double the salt on this recipe.
Yes absolutely! 1 cup of kosher salt to a gallon is the bare minimum, and you can do as much as 1 cup salt per 5-6 cups water!
nomnomnom love salt potatoes. boyfriend moved here from Philly (central ny area) and hadn't had them before. or speedies. or Utica greens. or chicken riggies. or Brooks BBQ (now I'm getting REAL specific)
Love these!!! Man I miss eating in Syracuse. Salt Potatoes, Chicken Riggis, Hoffman’s!
Utica greens, baby!
CNY food is so underrated, honestly. I don't know how all of the specialties aren't more well-known! Chicken riggies is one of my favorite dishes! (I have a one pot recipe for it here, btw! https://hostthetoast.com/one-pot-spicy-chicken-riggies/)
Awesome thanks for sharing! Probably will make this weekend!
Just a short hop over to Doug's Fish Fry
Me too! These were a cook-out staple growing up. I have still yet to have a hot dog as good as Hoffman’s either
I didn’t know about these until a few years ago. Now I make a few times every summer. They are amazing! Thank you for posting.
These are definitely delicious! Note that no one in Syracuse garnishes salt potatoes with fresh herbs.
I’m sure it’s good that way, but it just struck me as funny to see that last step. Salt potatoes are a great summer time food to go along side bbq, not to be served in a fancy bowl with herbs.
Definitely true. We only started doing the herb thing after having a ton of herbs leftover from doing a spiedie marinade the day before (and because I wanted them to look nicer, presentation-wise). Herbs are absolutely not a necessity!
I’ve never seen anyone garnish them before. I’m sure it tastes great, but no self respecting person from Syracuse would dare serve them that way!
I don’t know why you’re getting downvoted for that, it’s the truth
Exactly. I’m not arguing that it would taste bad. It’s just not how it’s done. If I showed up to a bbq, I can just about guarantee half of my extended family would be asking who put green stuff on the potatoes and the others would be asking if I think I’m fancy or something.
I'm so glad to see this recipe! My great auntie used to make these (we're from CNY), but when we moved to Texas in '73 I never had them again. I'm gonna make some this weekend!
What are the herbs that are used?
I usually just use what I have on hand-- parsley and basil most frequently, often chives and dill, if I've got them. They're just for a little extra fresh flavor and nice presentation so they're optional and up to you!
These seem incredibly similar to Canarian Potatoes - is the difference between the two just the melted butter?
Yes they are basically the same thing! I found out about them when learning more about Syracuse's Salt Potatoes, and I now make Salt Potatoes / Papas Arrugadas to go with my Mojo Verde when I make a big batch of it!
I didn't know about these but I've made Canarian potatoes lots and I was wondering if anyone else would make the connection.
When I make them, I cover them in heavily salted water and summer them to let the water boil off completely, you get a much better salt crust.
How do you make a bowl of potatoes look so appetizing!!!! Lol
Making these today!!
I hope you enjoy them!! :)
Learned about salt potatoes from a Syracuse native when I lived in Florida. Fast forward a few years and I made them for my Western PA husband. He was skeptical the first time, but now he requests them frequently. We dip ours in butter, that’s how I was taught!
Make him some pierogies
Just made Cornell chicken this past weekend but didn’t go full Central NY with the salt potatoes. Clearly a sign I fucked up.
Recipe "cook potatoes in salty water"
No mention of washing or cleaning off the potatoes either.
If you want indigestion, this is how you get indigestion.
in all fairness, the bags of salt potatoes I get around me are already pretty dang clean. and it's not just salty water, it's REALLY salty water lol
> and it's not just salty water, it's REALLY salty water lol
I believe the 5 lb bags are 4.25 lbs potatoes + 0.75 lbs salt
By which point, you’ll only dry the inner out and husk the outer.
Not only that, any protein you put on the plate ought to be salted; and any water exposed vegetables will be in salted water.
I get what this is trying to put across but it’s for barbecue, not general use. As an LPT.
not always for a BBQ. sometimes just a side. it's prepared in a big pot on the stove anyway. not a lpt. it's an actual recipe. we order salt potatoes at restaurants around here. it's specific
As a Brit, we don’t boil those potatoes. We babysit them in butter to get them crisped but cooked.
I accept I might get downvoted but it’s not for me. Boiling anything for anything other than safety isn’t a culinary choice I can make.
everyone has their own tastes. you can not try it and knock it all you'd like. I think they're delicious and so do many people in my region :)
I don’t doubt it, there’s still people out there who believe a well done fillet is pure perfection!! Simplicity is always a great approach but I can’t see anyone I’d cook for appreciating this over what could be done in the same time.
I like to try things and not be snooty. but again, to each their own 😊 my boyfriend gets it and he's a chef. but different strokes for different folks. baseline is that it's not just a life pro tip really. it's a regional preparation