I Like my Potatoes Sliced, not Mushed

IMG_4196There are few things more quintessential to German cooking than a traditional potato salad. It’s the standard fare served along meats such as Wienerschnitzel or pork roast. Unlike it’s American cousin, German potato salad is dressed with broth instead of mayonnaise, making it a delicious choice that happens to be healthier, too. Come and cook with us!

The best potatoes to use for this type of salad are what we call waxy. That means that they have a higher water content than mealier ones like Russets, giving them a better texture when cold and, thus, holding up better when tossed with dressing. The best types are Yellow Finn, Yukon Gold or red potatoes. The other trick is to peel, slice and dress the potatoes while they are still warm. That is also the theory behind dressing beets, green beans, summer squash, cauliflower and many of the warm salads heavily featured in our kitchen. When starch vegetables cool, their surface hardens and gelatinizes which makes it harder for the dressing or seasoning to penetrate. For more technical insights into the science behind it – or at least some good food analysis on potato salad – check out this article by J. Kenji López-Alt in The Food Lab on Potato Salad Done Right. Mind you, I disagree on a few things, such as the type of potato which for a German-style potato salad is not the russet, but it still make for an entertaining and informative read.

Before I let you run off to get on with the rest of your day, I’d like to put in a plug for heritage turkeys for your upcoming Thanksgiving meal. Just like we try to eat free-range chicken and grass-fed beef, we hope you’d consider ordering a heritage turkey this year. There would be so much to  write about this topic, but I leave it to Slow Food’s post of Resisting the Butterball Conspiracy. Get in touch, if you want to talk more about why our meat choices matter! In any event, here’s to a great potato salad accompanying whatever meat lands on your plate! Come and cook with us!

German-style Potato Salad with Cucumber

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