Every area has their own regional specialty recipes, and Upstate NY is no exception. Salt potatoes are not something I had ever heard of until I met my husband, who was born and raised in Syracuse, NY. They are very popular in the Syracuse area, and my in-laws have them at every picnic. The name pretty much gives away the entire ingredient list, and they are certainly not for people who need to watch their salt intake.
Syracuse has a long history of salt production, since there are salt springs that feed Onondaga Lake and the area used to be a major producer of salt. Now a days I think most of the salt produced is used for de-icing roads, not eating. But since there is a lot of need for de-icing in the Syracuse winter that works out!
The idea behind the salt potatoes is simple, you cook small, new potatoes with a huge amount of salt. The salt seals the skins of the potatoes, and all the salt makes the water boil at a higher temperature, so the potatoes turn out creamier. They are served with melted butter, which makes them taste even better of course. I am not usually a big fan of potatoes, but salt potatoes are tasty and creamy. One drawback to making this in your kitchen is you end up with salt crusted all over your pans, and the stove too if the pot boils over.
- 4 lbs potatoes
- 1 lb salt (really, use it all)
- 1 stick butter, melted
- Put 3 quarts of water in a pot. Use a large one so you don’t have to clean salt off the stove afterwards.
- Add salt and bring to a boil. Rinse the potatoes to remove any dirt, but don’t peel. Add potatoes and boil for 20 minutes, until a fork goes into the potato easily.
- Serve with melted butter.