Praise Be to the Family Potato Salad
I face a huge responsibility this Labor Day weekend: I’ve been tasked with making my mother’s sacred potato salad recipe.
According to “All About Potatoes,” it is widely believed that Germany is where the American version of potato salad originated.
The potato, which is native to South America, was brought by explorers to Europe in the 16th century. It eventually spread throughout Europe.
As Germans immigrated to America in the 19th century, they brought their potato salad recipes with them.
A few decades later, the French invented my favorite condiment, mayonnaise, which was “the starting point of the potato salad that many Americans know to this day.”
There are surely a million or more potato salad recipes across our country. Every family has its own version and every family is certain its recipe is the very best.
My mother’s potato salad recipe is based on the one she got from my dad’s mother, Grandma Beatrice, who was of German descent.
But unlike German potato salad, which is typically served warm, my mother’s recipe includes ice cold potatoes, sliced hard-boiled eggs, crisp celery and a watery, vinegary mayonnaise mix.
It’s my favorite dish on Earth. I think I know why.
The only time we enjoy my mother’s potato salad is during festive summer gatherings. In a good year, it might be served only four or five times.