When I learned that baby carrots were developed to reduce food waste, it made me feel better about buying them. The origin of Tater Tots might make you feel better about eating them. In 1953, the Ore-Ida company was busy selling frozen corn and french fries, but it was a real hassle to separate cut french fries from the rest of the potato when they came out of the cutting machine. Nephi Grigg, who founded Ore-Ida with his brother Golden Grigg, talked the manufacturer of a prune-sorting machine into making a device that would separate the french fries out. It worked, but that left them with lot of potato scraps. The original plan was to use the scraps to feed livestock, but Nephi had a better idea. He made Tater Tots and took them to the 1954 National Potato Convention, where participants were served samples.
“These were all gobbled up faster than a dead cat could wag its tail,” Nephi Grigg would write 35 years later.
Yeah, I know, it doesn't make sense to me, either. Tater Tots became an instant hit and remained so for Ore-Ida, partly due to the fact that they are almost impossible to make at home. Find out why in the story of the Tater Tot at Eater. -via TYWKIWDBI
(Image credit: Willis Lam)