Jackie’s Top 5 Ways to Consume Potatoes

During the month of December, Loyola Libraries staff make lists and check them twice. What are these lists about? Anything! You can look at past years’ lists here and stay tuned for more lists!

You say potato, I say “yes please!” Here are my top five ways to consume potatoes, the most delicious and versatile root vegetable I can think of right now, while I write this. Not to mention they’re cheap, easy to prepare, and found on almost every menu. Bonappe-tato! 

First, an honorable mention goes to potato pancakes, with apple sauce. They don’t make it on the list of my top five potato dishes, but man are they good. I did not forget you, potato pancakes! 

5. Mashed Potatoes 

Creamy, garlicy, buttery, and able to be mixed with the other veggies on your plate, mashed potatoes are the warm and comforting food that reminds me of my childhood. They’re best when they’re still just a little lumpy, for those textured mouthfuls of potato goodness. Some gravy certainly doesn’t hurt, either. 

4. Pierogi 

Listen…if you haven’t had garlic and potato pierogi (sometimes also with cheese), you haven’t lived. The combination of savory potato and sweet, soft dough is another taste of my childhood that I still crave today. They’re best pan-fried, in my opinion, and even better if you can get them from one of the amazing Polish restaurants or delis around Chicago. Pair them with some Polish sausage and you have, like…. three food groups? But they’re a great meal on their own, too. Yum! 

3. French Fries 

Obviously, fries must make this list, not only because they’re delicious but also because there is such a wide variety amongst them. Do your french fries still have skin, or no skin? Are they thin, shoestring-style fries? Maybe you prefer them to be thick cut? What about potato wedges? (I might argue that wedges are a different category of potato all together since they should be roasted and not fried, but, alas, that can be a different blog post). Or even the Holy Grail: waffles fries! And don’t even get me started on what to dip them in… No matter how you like them best, french fries are one of the best foods out there in general, and deserve a spot on this list. 

2. Baked Potato 

Baked potatoes are the ultimate “girl dinner” for me. I regularly microwave a large potato for about 10 minutes, drown it in butter, sour cream, and hot sauce, and BAM: we’ve got a meal. It’s cheap and delicious, with almost no effort in the preparation or clean-up, and you can add any toppings you want. Can’t beat it for a home-prepared potato. 

1. Tater Tots 

Tater tots are so good, any time I see them on a menu, I will pay that extra $1-3 for a tots upgrade instead of fries. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, tossed in salt and dipped in some sweet ketchup…that’s the kind of mouthful of potato that dreams are made of. Not to mention that tater tots are also one of the best frozen foods to have for those nights when you want to make something easy and delicious and then sit on your couch and gorge yourself on them while you watch your favorite trashy reality TV show for 5 hours…or maybe that’s just me? In any case, tater tots are the best thing the potato world has to offer. 

Jackie is the Monograph Acquisitions Associate at Loyola Chicago Libraries and an avid reader in her free time. She also enjoys baking, travel, and being outdoors.

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