John Hinerwadel and Syracuse Salt Potato Revisited

Welcome back funny names fans! Summer has just bloomed in full and I thought a summer classic post would be in order. And to tell on myself, I had to get a deadline extension for my dementia home care book because I couldn’t juggle all my hot potatoes. So without further ado . . .

Today’s post is brought to you by the words eponymous and synonymous. And not just because they sound good together.

A little history first. The majority of the salt used in the United States before the 19th century came from Syracuse, New York—dubbed “the Salt City.”

Between 1845 and 1852, during the Irish Potato Famine, an estimated one million Irish died from famine. One million more emigrated from Ireland to other parts of the world. Many of them passed through New York looking for work.

If you were a miner arriving in New York where’s the closest place you’d look for work?

Which leads us to an enterprising restauranteur, John Hinerwadel, owner of the eponymous Syracuse clambake company. He noticed the local Irish salt workers boiling their lunch—potatoes with skins on—in large vats of salt water.

In 1914, Mr. Hinerwadel added salt potatoes to his menu. With their rapid rise in popularity, Mr. Hinerwadel sold salt potato kits, which included five pounds of small white potatoes and 12 ounces of salt, so the DIY’ers could make ‘em at home.

The bags of potatoes with the red and yellow sun are still sold in Syracuse today. Sorry folks they’re not available for sale online.

The Hinerwadel family has sold millions of bags of salt potatoes, and unlike McDonalds’ they’re still counting. Making Hinerwadel’s Famous Original Salt Potatoes synonymous with Syracuse.

A link to Hinerwadels website. Because there are no images of Mr. Hinerwadel online.

A link to Hinerwadel’s website. Because there are no images of the esteemed Mr. Hinerwadel available.

Speaking of Syracuse and Hinerwadel’s, let’s turn it over to our own BoFN’s Syracuse man-on-the-street reporter, Mark Bialczak.

Mark: “Having moved to Syracuse in 1983, I soon was introduced to the teeny-tiny potato dusted with salt and doused in melted butter. Genius! I’ve never figured out how they get the potatoes to stop growing at such a tender young age, but who am I to quibble. As far as I was concerned they were a poor man’s lobster tail. I’m known to dip the rest of the picnic in the drawn butter, as well. Burger … perfect for the corn on the cob, you know?

Not only that, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a number of clambakes at Hinerwadel’s, the joint run by the family. Their food spreads are legendary. Barbecued meats, fixin’s, clams, shrimp, salt potatoes, salt potatoes, salt potatoes, beer, beer, beer. Ahhhhhhhh. Some company or charity is throwing a clambake there every weekend day from May to September.”

Thank you, Mark!

Well folks, you heard it here first.

If I’m ever in central New York, I’ll visit Hinerwadel’s. I’m positive when I finish eating, my hiner will waddle. Mmmmmm.

Tracy — Fannie Cranium’s Guide to Irreverent Wisdom

Advertisements

About Fannie Cranium

Writing since she could first hold a pen, Tracy Perkins formed her alter ego, "Fannie Cranium" at the suggestion of her husband. Tracy understands smiling makes people wonder what she’s been up to.
This entry was posted in funny names in food and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to John Hinerwadel and Syracuse Salt Potato Revisited

  1. Reblogged this on Fannie Cranium's and commented:

    Revisiting a summer classic over at the BoFN this month: John Hinerwadel. Enjoy!

  2. ksbeth says:

    these potatoes sound delish and I would dip just about anything in melted butter and love it. loved mark’s description so much.

  3. kerbey says:

    Well, poo that there’s no picture! I imagine him with a waddle (an “inner waddle,” if you will), looking like J. Wellington Wimpy, aka Wimpy from Popeye. I would never say no to potatoes and salt and butter.

  4. wdydfae says:

    “. . . Fannie kicks off summer with one salty offering! . . .”

    “. . . as Fannie and Kerb pass posting back and forth like a hot potato, the summer is looking to be one cosmic BoFM mash-up–mashed potatoes, anyone? . . .”

    “. . . I say poe-tay-toe, you say poe-tah-toe, but Fannie says pre-potassium chloride, real deal, accept-no-substitute homegrown NY salt potatoes . . .”

    “. . . the cameo by the Markmeister is the perfect coda to Fannie’s scrumptious salt potato post . . .”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s