National Tater Tot Day Date in the current year: February 2, 2022

National Tater Tot Day National Tater Tot Day is one of the unofficial yet popular food days observed in the United States. It is celebrated on February 2 in honor of a popular potato-based frozen food, which is typically deep-fried and served as a side dish or entrée.

Tater tots are grated potatoes shaped into bite-sized cylinders. They were invented by the American frozen food company Ore-Ida in the early 1950s. The company initially focused on producing and selling frozen corn and French fries. Tater tots were developed in order to utilize leftover potatoes from French fry production.

Potato slivers were chopped up and mixed with flour and seasoning. The mixture was extruded (pushed through holes to produce the required shape), cut into bite-sized pieces, and then frozen. The new product was invented in 1953 and hit the shelves in 1956.

The name “Tater Tot” was conceived by Ore-Ida’s research committee. “Tater” is short for potato, so the name means something roughly akin to “small potatoes” or “tiny potatoes”. Although the name is a registered trademark, it is often used as a generic term because it is the most famous brand of grated potato-based frozen food.

Interestingly enough, Ore-Ida’s Tater Tots didn’t become popular right away because they were... too cheap. Consumers were hesitant to buy the new product because it had no perceived value. Once Ore-Ida raised the price (while still keeping it affordable, of course), people began buying tater tots. Today, the annual consumption of tater tots in the United States is approximately 70,000,000 pounds, or 3,710,000,000 tots.

In the United States, tater tots are a common side dish served in school and college cafeterias. They are also offered by some Mexican-style fast-food restaurants. In addition, you can buy tater tots in the frozen food section of almost any grocery store.

Some companies produce “veggie tots” which are advertised as having a higher nutritional value than traditional tater tots. They can be made from broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables. However, you should keep in mind that deep-fried foods aren’t regarded as particularly healthy. If you want to eat healthier, you should not only substitute veggie tots for tater tots, but also bake them in the oven instead of deep frying.

In the Upper Midwest region of the United States (the states of Iowa, North Dakota, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin), tater tots are used to cook hotdish, a tater tot casserole. Other ingredients in hotdish are ground beef or other meat, vegetables such as corn and green beans, canned cream of mushroom soup, and shredded cheese.

To make hotdish, mix browned ground beef with vegetables (for example, green beans) and a can of cream of mushroom soup. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture in a casserole pan, place tater tots on top and top off with shredded cheddar cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 350° F. Remove the foil and bake for 15 more minutes.

Given the popularity of tater tots in the United States, it is not surprising that there is National Tater Tot Day, albeit unofficial. If you want to celebrate, treat yourself to some tater tots on February 2.

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Category

Unofficial Holidays

Country

USA

Tags

National Tater Tot Day, unofficial holidays, American holidays, food days, tater tots