National Tater Day Date in the current year: March 31, 2024

National Tater Day If you love potatoes, you absolutely should observe National Tater Day on March 31. This amazing holiday celebrates all kinds of potatoes and hundreds or even possibly thousands of dishes you can cook with potatoes.

The potato is a staple food in many parts of the world and, as of 2016, the world’s fifth most valuable food crop according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, behind rice, maize, wheat and soybeans. Potatoes were domesticated in what is now southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia thousands of years ago and were introduced to other parts of the world during the European colonization of the Americas.

Potatoes are so popular because of their nutritional value (they are a good source of carbohydrates) and versatility: they can be boiled, baked, steamed, pan-fried, deep-fried, roasted, used in soups, salads, stews, pancakes, dumplings, and many other dishes.

Due to millennia of selective breeding, there are thousands of potato cultivars that can be roughly divided into three big groups: starchy, waxy, and all-purpose. Starchy potatoes are great for frying, baking and mashing, waxy potatoes are good for boiling and roasting, and all-purpose potatoes can be used for just about any dish. Potato cultivars that are good for making potato chips are sometimes called chipping potatoes.

The origins of National Tater Day are unclear. It is possible that the celebration originated in the mid-19th century in Kentucky, where sweet potatoes, affectionately called taters, used to be one of the main cash crops. In the beginning of April, folks in some parts of Kentucky would buy and sell sweet potato slips because it was high time to start planting them.

Over time, an annual celebration of sweet potatoes grew around the trade. In fact, the city of Brenton, Kentucky still hosts the annual Tater Day sweet potato festival in late March and early April. It includes pageants, competitions, carnival rides, an artisan’s market, arts & crafts stations, car shows, sports games, parades, dog shows, and other events and activities.

Since the 19th century, Kentucky’s celebration of sweet potatoes has expanded to include all kinds of potatoes, and at some point, National Tater Day was born. It should be noted that the sweet potato is not a cultivar of the common potato; in fact, these two plant species are only distant relatives. However, it doesn’t stop potato lovers from celebrating both types of potato on March 31.

Potato lovers across the nation observe National Tater Day by having potato dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, sharing their favorite potato recipes online with the hashtags #NationalTaterDay and #TaterDay, trying new recipes, and learning more about the different kinds of potatoes and the types of dishes they are best suited for.

National Tater Day should not be confused with National Potato Day, a similar informal celebration of potatoes held annually on August 30. Potatoes are also celebrated in Peru on May 30. The country’s National Potato Day was officially established by the Peruvian government to remind the world where potatoes originated from and celebrate the country’s farmers and specialists in agricultural research.

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National Tater Day, unofficial holidays, observances in the US, food days, food-related holidays