The Tot Grows Up

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has embraced the new face of Tater Tots, those lovable little tube-shaped potato niblets that tend to come frozen in bags and grace TV trays … and paper plates.

The damn things are (of course) going upscale. As the story notes, the snack has humble origins: Before F. Nephi Grigg invented the Tater Tot, Ore-Ida used its potato scraps as cattle feed. But now, you can get Tots served with blue cheese dip, stuffed with crab, or accompanied by even fancier stuff. At Citronelle in Washington, Chef Michel Richard is a fan, according to the Journal-Constitution: “‘Tater Tot foie gras ravioli!’ the chef exclaims by telephone. ‘I make the Tater Tot mixture, fill it with foie gras and then sauté it until it crisps. They’re wonderful.’”

Even in Minneapolis, ground zero for humble Lutheran Tater Tot
Casserole, the Bulldog NE has made the Tot a high-concept menu mainstay. Locals can order a fennel-dusted order of Tots served with tarragon aioli, togarashi
Tots served with wasabi mayo, or truffled Tots served with Parmesan cheese. Heretical? Perhaps, but it’s also good eats.

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