One of America’s Favorites – Hash Browns

October 23, 2017 at 5:26 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Shredded hash browns, pictured with slider sandwiches

Hash browns or hashed browns are a simple preparation in which potatoes are pan-fried after being shredded, diced, julienned or riced, in the style of a Swiss Rösti. In some cultures, hash browns or hashed browns can refer to any of these preparations, while in others it may refer to one specific preparation. Hash browns are a staple breakfast food at diners in North America and the UK, where they are often fried on a large common cooktop or grill.

In some parts of the United States, hash browns strictly refer to shredded or riced pan-fried potatoes and are considered a breakfast food, while potatoes diced or cubed and pan-fried are also a side dish called country fried potatoes or home fries (though many variations of home fries are par-cooked before frying). Some recipes add diced or chopped onions.

Hash browns are a popular mass-produced product sold in both refrigerated and frozen varieties. Hash browns are also available in dehydrated form.

 

Originally, the full name was “hashed brown potatoes” (or “hashed browned potatoes”), of which the first known mention is by American food author Maria Parloa (1843–1909) in 1888. The name was gradually shortened to ‘hash brown potatoes’. Bite sized Hash Browns are small cylindrical dumplings, known as Tater Tots in the U.S. and Potato Gems in Australia, and are sold commercially at diners and in frozen food aisles in packets.

 

The word “hash” is derived from the French word “hacher” which means to hack or chop. This means hashed browned potatoes literally translate to “chopped and fried potatoes”.

 

Hash browns patty

A chef may prepare hash browns by forming riced potatoes into patties before frying with onions (moisture and potato starch can hold them together); however, if a binding agent is added (egg or oil for example), such a preparation constitutes a potato pancake. Frozen hash browns are sometimes made into patty form for ease of handling, and the compact, flat shape can also be cooked in a toaster oven or toaster. If a dish of hash browned potatoes incorporates chopped meat, leftovers, or other vegetables, it is more commonly referred to as hash.

Hash browns are also manufactured as a dehydrated food, which is sometimes used by backpackers.

 

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