Potato salad??? German? English?

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dory
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Potato salad??? German? English?

Post by dory » Sun May 31, 2015 4:46 pm

Ok. This one is really off-topic for a guitar forum. My husband and I got into a discussion of potato salad last night. My family is mostly English American--of Quaker bsckground-- pretty rigid and not until my generation, exactly open to cultural diversity. One of my grandmothers, however, was born in Germany and came to the U.S. At age 5. Much of her marriage was during and after WWII, and my grandfather tepressed the poor woman's culture pretty severely. The only German family recipe we have is for potato pancakes, that are so rich, and were so much to my grandfather's taste that we still make them, although in my weird twist I often make them at Hannukah, and call them "my goyische latkes." My husband always had thought of potato salad as German, because when he first arrived in the U.S. he knew a very old German immigrant who used to joke he married his wife only for her potato salad.

I know much less than I would like to about German culture and cooking. However, I grew up in Wisconsin hearing about "German potato salad" which a lot of other families made but not ours. I have only tried it at cheap buffet restaurants which is not a good example, but the dressing seems to be sweet and sour, based on vinegar and oil-- not mayonnaise, and it seems to contain bacon. Our family recipe comes from my English Canadian grandmother and is based on mayonnsise (although it is not the greasy mayonnaise souo I see at cheap restsurants.) We do not know if this recipe is actually English or North Americsn, snd we also don't know if German people make potato salad, and if so, what it is like. There seem to be goid cooks among forum members. Is there potato salad in Germany? If so, what is it like? Do people in England make potato salad? If so, does it contain mayonnsise?
Dory

Scot Tremblay
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Re: Potato salad??? German? English?

Post by Scot Tremblay » Sun May 31, 2015 5:12 pm

Yes Potato salad (Kartoffelsalat) is very common in Germany, especial Bavaria. England, I'm not so sure of. I saw it when I was there but I only saw the mayonnaise type and I'm not fond of mayo so didn't try it.

I apprenticed with a Bavarian Chef many years ago. Here is a link to a recipe for Kartoffelsalat which is basically very close to what we would do. We substituted chicken stock for the vegetable, used grainy mustard and added crispy smoked bacon bits. If everything is hot when you put it together some of the potato breaks down and makes a nice potato slurry, gravy, I guess one could say...and this is important. I still make this quite often changing it up with chives, banana pepper or pickle juice, sometimes fresh oregano and or thyme...play with it. I'm not sure if this is correct but my Chef claimed that the sugar is not so much a Bavarian ingredient as something that was introduced into the recipe by North American groups such as the Hutterites, Amish or Mennonites. Maybe someone who knows more can confirm or refute that.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/schwabisch ... sch-style/
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Bernhard Heimann
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Re: Potato salad??? German? English?

Post by Bernhard Heimann » Sun May 31, 2015 5:44 pm

As a native Suebian living in Augsburg, Germany, I can confirm that the recipe given with the link above is very close to our family recipe.
Bacon is a no-no, some fresh cucumber (in thin slices) may be added to make a "Kartoffel-Gurken-Salat" (especially in summer),
or a pickled gherkin (diced finely) and/or a hard boiled egg as a variation. Vinegar is not necessary with the gherkin, but may be added
(individual preference). And there are many other family recipes, I'm sure.

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Re: Potato salad??? German? English?

Post by Annette » Sun May 31, 2015 5:59 pm

Hi,
I'm German, too, and live in the very south of Germany.
Here the dressing is based on vinegar, oil and stock (which I prefer), and we eat the potato salad, when it's still lukewarm.
In the northern parts of Germany the dressing usually is based on mayonnaise.
So when people from there come to us, they often are astonished about "our" potato salad.
Yours Annette

Stephen Graham

Re: Potato salad??? German? English?

Post by Stephen Graham » Sun May 31, 2015 6:30 pm

Funny, I come from a Scot- Irish line and figured the potato was a main source of food and would have some origins of the start of potato salad there, or in England. However, in searching the origins of potato salad I found this:

I love discovering the history behind foods we consider to be traditional, and potato salad is no exception. So I was thrilled when National Public Radio ran a story called Rethinking Potato Salad. Susan Russo explained potato salad has been around for centuries.

“It was first introduced to Europe from the New World by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. These early potato salads were made by boiling potatoes in wine or a mixture of vinegar and spices. The more American version of potato salad is rooted in German cuisine and came here with European settlers.”

Now I have had my fill of potato knowledge for the day.

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Re: Potato salad??? German? English?

Post by Jacek A. Rochacki » Sun May 31, 2015 6:38 pm

It is so nice for me to read this thread, as the potato salad is also quite popular in Poland. Our version is often made with pickled or marinated...herrings.
Potato pancakes are or used to be one of most popular dishes in Polish traditional cuisine. When I have been last time in Strasbourg and we went for pancakes I noticed that potato pancakes served there were fried/made of potatoes shredded to larger shreds in comparison to what I know from home.
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Re: Potato salad??? German? English?

Post by manythumbed » Sun May 31, 2015 7:51 pm

My wife is German and always talks about having potato salad for Christmas Eve. I am quite willing to make it for her but somehow it never happens - maybe it will happen this year as that recipe seems amazingly simple.

Living in the UK I wouldn't consider potato salad to be a typical English dish but I could be wrong. I would think that we probably imported it from the USA like hamburgers and hot dogs - maybe I should become a culinary historian?

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Re: Potato salad??? German? English?

Post by RoryJohn » Sun May 31, 2015 8:13 pm

All of ye are wrong of course. It's clearly Irish.
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Re: Potato salad??? German? English?

Post by Scot Tremblay » Sun May 31, 2015 8:38 pm

Bernhard Heimann wrote: Bacon is a no-no...Bernhard
I just checked my old recipe book from my apprentice days (can hardly read it, it's over 30 years old) and you are absolutely right, Bernhard. I happily stand corrected. It was the warm Krautsalat that we included bacon or sometimes Schinkenspeck when we had it (this is Canada, not always available back then).
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cefyn
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Re: Potato salad??? German? English?

Post by cefyn » Sun May 31, 2015 8:42 pm

RoryJohn wrote:All of ye are wrong of course. It's clearly Irish.
No, it's Welsh - only we make it with leeks!

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Erik Zurcher
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Re: Potato salad??? German? English?

Post by Erik Zurcher » Sun May 31, 2015 8:51 pm

I found this on the internet: not very reliable proof, but I buy my favourite potato salad from Lidl (international retailer, originally from Germany). :lol:
Potatoes were first introduced to Europe from the New World by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. The early potato salads were made by boiling potatoes in wine or a mixture of vinegar and spices. The American version of potato salad is rooted in German cuisine.
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Re: Potato salad??? German? English?

Post by RoryJohn » Sun May 31, 2015 10:07 pm

Erik Zurcher wrote:I found this on the internet: not very reliable proof, but I buy my favourite potato salad from Lidl (international retailer, originally from Germany). :lol:
Potatoes were first introduced to Europe from the New World by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. The early potato salads were made by boiling potatoes in wine or a mixture of vinegar and spices. The American version of potato salad is rooted in German cuisine.
Lidl is truly Germany's greatest contribution to European life. Interesting that US potato salad is rooted (lets all resit the temptation to make awful puns shall we?) in German cuisine. Of further interest is that German potato salad is rooted in Irish cuisine! the more you know eh?
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Re: Potato salad??? German? English?

Post by Erik Zurcher » Sun May 31, 2015 10:12 pm

Irish cuisine? That's new to me! :wink:
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dory
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Re: Potato salad??? German? English?

Post by dory » Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:55 am

Thank you very much for the recipes! I am going to try to make warm German potato salad in honor of my grandmother whose culture was never passed down to her grandchildren, although she would probably be shocked, because she was Prussian! However, the potato pancakes I make are a lot fluffier than the Jewish ones that are common here in the U.S. The potatoes are grated more finely than for Jewish latkes,and we separate the eggs and beat the whites until fluffy and then add them to the grated potato and egg yolk. I don't want to offend my Jewish friends, but I think mygrandmother's potato pancakes are tastier than latkes. They also don't have any onion, and are eaten with applesauce. I am guessing from responses that mayonnaise-based potato salad is North American rather than English, and that the English borrowed it from us.
Dory

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Re: Potato salad??? German? English?

Post by Mick the Ramirez Man » Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:57 am

Growing up here in SE Wisconsin, I was exposed to 2 types of potato salad. German (made with vinegar) and French (made with mayonnaise). I don't eat either of them, but I do love potato pancakes (with no onions but lots of apple sauce)!!! :)

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