This Central New York Favorite Food Is Getting Its Own Historic Marker
It wouldn't be summertime without a bowl of salt potatoes swimming in so much butter that they drip right down your chin.
My first encounter with the salt potato was at a Binghamton Mets baseball game in the early 2000s when a friend handed me a bowl swimming in butter. I remember taking it and thinking, "just want I wanted, a bowl of boiled potatoes," but I politely took a bite and in that instant, I was hooked.
In the 1800s, Irish immigrants working in salt mines in the Onondaga Region prepared their potato lunches by boil small and unpeeled potatoes in a salinated brine which was mined from salt springs for their lunch. By cooking their potatoes this way, a crust was formed on the skin of the potato which would help keep the potato from becoming waterlogged.
By the early 1900s salt potatoes had become popular in the Syracuse area and an entrepreneur named John Hinerwadel started serving them at his famous clam bakes, eventually selling five-pound bags of potatoes along with a 12-ounce package of salt.
Hinerwadel’s Famous Original Salt Potatoes are still sold today and many other companies have jumped on the bandwagon, selling this Central New York favorite in grocery stores all across the state.
Now, over 100 years after being introduced to Central New York, the salt potato is being honored with its own historic marker. The William G. Pomeroy Foundation in Syracuse created a program which celebrates history and heritage through dishes which were created before 1960 and one of the first dishes to be honored with the nation's first food themed historic marker is the salt potato.
The salt potato historic marker will be placed in Syracuse during a special unveiling and dedication which will take place on July 10.
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