"You give them something to eat" – Jesus of Nazareth
Thursday, August 1
New potatoes are the smaller potatoes that are harvested early in the summer season, or the smaller underdeveloped potatoes that didn’t have time to grow to full size before harvest. Though small in size they can be big on taste, especially when cooked into salt potatoes.
In my original hometown of Syracuse, NY, new potatoes are famously made into “salt potatoes”. This is fitting as Syracuse is the “Salt City” complete with a main street named Salina St., and a Salt Museum on the shores of nearby Onondaga Lake. It was the salt springs & marshes around this lake that made Syracuse a major hub of salt production until the 1920’s.
It was also their salty brine that was used to make the first salt potatoes. Irish workers at the salt works would bring for lunch the small substandard potatoes & cook them up in the salty brine water.
Through osmosis the salty brine actually draws water out of the potato, so in the end you don’t have the soggy mash that usually comes from boiling potatoes. Instead you have soft, yet not mushy, cooked potatoes with a wonderful salty taste that is often complemented with butter & fresh herbs like chives, dill, or parsley.
While white potatoes are usually used to make salt potatoes, reds can be used, and this year our Dark Red Norland potatoes are the earliest variety we have for new potatoes. So check out the recipe section to make your own red Syracuse Salt Potatoes.