How many kinds of potato salad do we really need?
At least five at any given deli, of course.
These pictures were actually taken last Easter, so how appropriate to finally get them up now, right? At the time, I was trying to explain to a Canadian friend that our delis are completely different. We have piles upon piles of prepared side dishes like this. They seem to mostly have olive varieties here, a few prepared dishes, peppers, and then mostly just meats. How barbaric!
This is from a deli in Springfield with nice little rows of dishes, whereas I’m used to large bowls of goop sitting behind the glass instead. Regardless, the idea is the same….lots and lots of prepared side dishes to choose from
While I’ll admit that some of the dishes are disgusting (pink slime ham salad, anyone?), many of them are really good, too. I still prefer a homemade potato salad any day, though, over the ones from a deli.
Because at least mine will always taste roughly the same! And well, there will be plenty of mustard. Even when I order a mustard-laden variety somewhere, it never seems to be yellow enough or tangy enough….and yes, if I’m at home, I’ll add more to it. I don’t have a recipe for it….potatoes, onions, sweet pickles, pickle juice, mayo, mustard, salt, in all the right proportions, tasted repeatedly.
And why is this so hard? Because this is what some varieties may look like instead:
salad made with baby potatoes, cooked in their jackets and left whole (skin on)
larger potatoes, cooked in their jackets and then peeled and cut
salad with a mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, sour cream or milk dressing
salad with vinegar dressing
salad with bacon, anchovies, or mustard.
salad with a fresh herb or dill dressing and/or chives, scallions, tarragon, gherkins, capers or other items.
salad with raw onions, cooked onions or pickled onions.
salad with tomatoes or green beans.
salad with hard-boiled eggs (a combination of potato salad and egg salad)
salad with ham, pickles, corn, hard-boiled egg and tomato salad with orange slices, Worcestershire sauce, bacon, and chives.
salad with celery or poppy seeds
Even though I can tell you the basic differences between an Amish potato salad and a…well, whatever you want to call a basic mustard variety…they never, ever taste the same from one place to the next.
So yes, having 5 or more potato salads available for a 4th of July party might seem excessive if you’re not from Midwest US, but frankly, I don’t know how they narrowed it down to that few…