Tater Tots

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This topic contains 63 replies, has 27 voices, and was last updated by  Darth Satan 6 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #66395

    Avocado Head
    Participant

    OMG Gordy, that sounds horrendous! Unless it was 2 AM and I was drunk as #$%^. Then it sounds AMAZING.

    -Avo

    #66396

    great idea
    Participant

    agreed that does sound horrible! unless I’m drunk/stoned at 2am, then it sounds delicicious!

    I don’t think tater tots are necessarily PNW. sure, they may grow the potatoes in Idaho, but even the ones you get at Whole Foods are probably stored 6-8 months from the time they are picked until they are on the shelf. they store well, so I wouldn’t guess local ones taste any better.

    and yes, you can make corn dogs w/o a deep fryer. I make morningstar ones for my kids all the time and you just bake a frozen product.

    #66400

    SunsetHillGuy
    Participant

    hre you go the orgins of the Tater-tot:

    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fsb/fsb_archive/2003/11/01/358297/index.htm

    By 1951, with America surging into postwar prosperity, the brothers Grigg determined that the future of produce lay in frozen food. So when a bankrupt flash-freezing plant in eastern Oregon was auctioned off for $500,000, they pounced, mortgaging their homes to raise the down payment. They called their operation Ore-Ida–a nod to their factory’s location near the Oregon-Idaho border–and started shipping frozen corn out west.

    The following year the Griggs began producing French fries, a process that entailed shaving the potatoes into rectangular blocks before slicing them. The shavings were later sold for a pittance as livestock feed, which piqued Nephi’s Depression-born sense of thrift. Couldn’t something more profitable be done with the scraps? By 1953 he had the answer: The shavings were ground, mixed with spices, extruded, and fried. The result was Tater Tots, and the world–or at least suburban kitchens and school cafeterias–would never be the same.

    Nephi introduced his new product by bringing 15 pounds of Tater Tots to the National Potato Convention in Miami later that year. There he bribed the convention’s chef to serve up the nuggets. They were an instant sensation, providing Nephi with a de facto focus group test and a splashy product launch all in one. Thanks in large part to Tater Tots, Ore-Ida gained 25% of the frozen-potato market during the 1950s. With demand outstripping capacity, the company went public in 1961 and built more factories, bringing sales to $31 million in 1964. But the rapid growth masked problems in Ore-Ida’s corporate culture, including nepotism (upper management leaned heavily toward Grigg relatives) and potential conflicts of interest (several principals, including the Grigg brothers, grew potatoes and sold them to the company). Sensing they’d gotten in over their heads, the Griggs sold Ore-Ida to Heinz in 1965 for $30 million. The move marked Heinz’s entry into frozen food and Ore-Ida’s ascension from regional upstart to national powerhouse: It currently commands 46% of the frozen-potato market.

    #66403

    oldguybc
    Participant

    Mondo, gawd, do U remember Linda’s? Some great burgers there, never had one like it, they had them over at a little bar on Bernardo & Evelyn for a while but they didn’t taste the same… remember the tater tots, good too… Gawd, next you’ll be telling me you used to hang out at the St James Infirmary! Oops, better shut up, Ballard people never saw nuthin like the “I” in all their days!

    #66404

    Angeline
    Participant

    Sweet potato tater tots (sweet tater tots?) are delicious, though with the sweet dimension they verge on doughnuts. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing! I’ve had the Ore Ida variety and Trader Joes; seem identical.

    All tater tots are even more decadent and delicious deep fried than when you cook them in an oven at home.

    I really thought with the Mexi-fries they at least dusted them with chili powder or something, but nope, they are just tater tots. I love tater tots but I don’t get the Mexican food connection. But then, I think in addition to bean sprouts the veggie burrito contains *celery* !!!

    #66408

    domie
    Participant

    @great idea- regular old potatoes are almost nearly nutritionally complete! They only lack vitamins D and E, which isn’t bad…for a potato.

    #66409

    great idea
    Participant

    ok domie, I can agree I was selling the poor spud short.

    I think they’re likely more nutritional in places that have a wider selection (peru, et al) than our cardboard box variety.

    tater tots are probably not made from the best potatoes. I’m sure they’re all pretty nasty for us when you add the sodium, etc. that most companies do:
    http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-ore-ida-tater-tots-i88629

    #66412

    Angeline
    Participant

    GI, I’m pretty sure the reason you can bake corn dogs is that they were already fried prior to being frozen. It wouldn’t work to make corn dogs from scratch and choose baking as your cooking method. You could make some other similar food like a pig-in-a-blanket, but corn dogs are dipped in batter like onion rings or tempura, and frying is the only way to keep them encased.

    I’m also pretty sure the frozen tater tots are pre-fried, which is why they seem so fried after you bake them. They are still even better when deep fried right before eating, though I really don’t want to think about the health ramifications of that!

    #66413

    great idea
    Participant

    just hearing the words ‘deep-fried’ makes my arteries clog up.

    baked anything is good, but honestly I’ve never had a really great tater tot.

    they’ve pretty much all been the same as those I was served up in the elementary school cafeteria ~ 1978.

    #66414

    Mondoman
    Participant

    gi – you can thank me later:
    http://sweetpeaskitchen.com/2011/10/homemade-crispy-potato-tots-tater-tots/

    og – my Dad was a big fan of Linda’s burgers, so he and my Mom would take my brother and me there when we were kids. Most of what I remember about it was the “fries” not being fries and the Parisian burger being large and slathered in sauce and so being very messy for a kid to eat. I think we probably went though a bushel of napkins each time we went there.
    Never been to the Infirmary — I’m guessing it’s more for the “medicinal use” of alcohol?

    #66416

    donarb
    Participant

    Taco Time started selling tater tots back in the 60’s, most likely because they were different than the regular fries every burger place was selling. They also had a taco burger, taco meat on a hamburger bun with lettuce and tomato. Real messy to eat.

    #66417

    great idea
    Participant

    I do believe you just described a ‘sloppy joe’

    that is a food I equate to be of the same era as ‘tater tots’

    #66420

    Lou98107
    Participant

    They also had a taco burger, taco meat on a hamburger bun with lettuce and tomato.

    I do believe you just described a ‘sloppy joe’

    great idea, I wouldn’t want a Sloppy Joe with lettuce and tomato, and without sauce. But the messy taco burger donarb described sounds like something easily thrown together at home, if we have leftover taco meat.

    LOVE McMenamin’s tater tots with Ranch dressing, and their Oregon ketchup.

    #66430

    great idea
    Participant

    fine.
    would you settle for ‘sloppy jose’?

    it doesn’t really seem that different to me.
    taco meat = ground hamburger with sauce, no?

    #66436

    Romanesque
    Participant

    Lunchbox Laboratory has the best tater tots in the city. They are little crispy, salty puffs of heaven.

    #66437

    gracie
    Participant

    Sorry Gordy – probably delicious to many but my gag reflex went into overdrive when I read that.

    #66444

    donarb
    Participant

    Well, it was quite a while ago, but as I recall the meat in the taco burger had less moisture to hold it together compared to a sloppy joe, it was very crumbly.

    #66453

    phoo
    Participant

    GI: You don’t make those corndogs in your kitchen – they are made at the factory, then you reheat them in your kitchen.

    Angeline: I think on a technical basis you can make corndogs in the oven, but requires molds and pretty much a feat of engineering to pull it off. Not really worth it. If you’re going to be bad (diet-wise), do it all the way. You’ll stop quicker and it will be more satisfying.

    I suspect one reason why tatertots “taste deep fried” from baking in the oven is because they have loads of grease in them, straight from the bag. The ones at Olaf’s are unmistakably deep fried – you don’t get THAT level of outside crunchy yet soft, moist and awesome inside from the oven. Maybe with some sort of hack where you start with them defrosted and crank the oven up to 600F but even then they would not heat evenly because one surface would be in contact with metal a surface.

    Lou98107: I’m afraid to ask, but what is “Oregon ketchup?”

    #66454

    Avocado Head
    Participant

    I cooked a couple of those frozen hash brown patties in the toaster once. They came out great, crispy outside, moist inside.

    Then I pulled out the crumb tray and the whole thing was completely full of what looked like solid, opaque yellowish crisco grease….

    Haven’t bought those things since, hehe…

    -Avo

    #66459

    oldguybc
    Participant

    Mondo, FYI…
    The St James Infirmary was a beer bar with sawdust on the floor, an 18 foot high statue of Wonder Woman in the big room, buck & a quarter pitchers after 4PM (OK, we’re talkin’ 1979 or so…), a pool- shootin’, foosball- hustlin’, skirt- chasin’ kinda place, never a better one that I’ve been in, same outfit had Fanny Ann’s in Sacto, Meadow Muffins in Colo Springs, bunch more bars, their main thing was taking everything weird out of attics & cellars all over creation and nailing it up on the walls for ambience or whatever, you’d really have to have been there to experience it… just a great bar.

    PS: Big- assed parking lot in the back of the bar with a lot of logs stuck between the parking areas, best place to go sit… and smoke… you get the picture…

    #66463

    Lou98107
    Participant

    Avocado head, if that grease had pooled on the crumb tray, it also probably coated the rest of the inside of your toaster. But maybe not.

    Phoo, McMenamin’s hotels and pubs use a ketchup made in Oregon. It might be organic; I can’t remember who makes it. I was skeptical at first because I like Heinz, but what McMenamin’s uses is a little more fresh and interesting.

    Grt Idea, I’ve never had taco meat that included what I’d call “sauce”. Crumbled ground beef sprinkled with ground chili powder and other spices (or one of the seasoning packets), and maybe a little water or salsa and let it cook down. But the liquid evaporates and the meat is loose and crumbly, but seasoned. On the other hand, to me Sloppy Joes are more like a BBQ pulled pork or shredded beef or shredded chicken sandwich, and the meat has been well doused in some kind of BBQ sauce. And the Sloppy Joe meat is usually ground. The former is drier, the latter much wetter.

    But, that’s just me.

    #66466

    SunsetHillGuy
    Participant

    phoo – a ketchup made in Portland, It’s actually quite good:

    Home

    #66467

    plasticbags
    Participant

    When I was in high school, nacho day was very popular because it would come with a side of tater tots. After you finished dipping chips in cheese you could dip tater tots in cheese.

    #66468

    Avocado Head
    Participant

    Nachos with a side of tots! Love it. Only in America, haha…

    Sounds good though…

    -Avo

    #66474

    Cate
    Participant

    Sloppy Joes and Tater Tots. School cafeteria dining at it’s (Pre Michelle era) best. Kids today don’t know what they are missing.

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