why do they call potatoes hash

If you prefer your breakfast on the savory side, the odds of you enjoying hash browns are pretty great. These crispy shredded potatoes are often flavored with minced onion and served alongside eggs cooked to your liking with bacon or sausage. They come frozen in bags at the grocery store for easy assembly but can taste divine when made from scratch. However, you may like yours a certain way, as they often come in different shapes and styles.

According to The Kitchn, hash browns can be prepared in four ways: shredded, patties, country-style, and OBrien. You know your hash browns are country-style if theyre cubed instead of shredded (via Lets Dish), and OBrien hash browns are country-style but with peppers and onions in the mix (per Saveur). The patties are just shredded potato pancakes, holding their shape in a mold similar to the kind you can get at McDonalds. However, shredded is a tad more versatile, allowing you to shape it into patties or keep it on the griddle for those crispy, evenly cooked edges.

And while some may agree with calling these various forms of the potato “hash browns,” Saveur argues that cubed potatoes and OBrien style go under entirely different categories — OBrien being just OBrien with the additional veggies and cubed potatoes as home fries. With these definitions in mind, its evident that the term “hash browns” can be a bit confusing. And when dating back to its origins, it just gets even more complicated.

Etymology. The word hash is derived from the French word “hacher”, which means to hack or chop. This means hashed browned potatoes literally translates to “chopped and fried potatoes”.
why do they call potatoes hash

Hash browns weren’t always named that

According to The Old Foodie, the first mention of any sort of “hash brown” dish occurred in 1835 when the “Minnesota Farmers Institute Annual” wrote out three different recipes for hash potatoes, brown hashed potatoes, and brown creamed hash potatoes — so its possible that the Minnesotans are responsible for inventing this idea that potatoes can be cut up and cooked together in a hash form. However, its believed that food author Maria Parloa was the first to define “hashed brown potatoes” in 1888 in her book “Kitchen Companion: A Guide for All Who Would Be Good Housekeepers” as a “fried mixture of cold boiled potatoes” (via Idaho Potato and Live Naturally Magazine).

Slurrp states that because the term “hash” resembles the French word “hacher,” which means to chop or hack, this is most likely how the dish developed its name. Parloas dish resembled that, and The Old Foodie notes that her version was not shredded. Instead, the potatoes were boiled whole, chopped, pressed into a skillet with butter, and seared into a large cake — pretty similar to that of the Minnesotan way. Then, youd finish it off in the oven until it browned on the bottom.

From there, hashed brown potatoes made their way onto hotel breakfast menus in New York City due to their increased popularity in the late 1890s, per Erin Nudi. Food Reference states that the term “hashed brown potatoes” was finally shortened and referred to as hash browns by 1970 – although it remains a mystery how or why this transition took place.

How to Make Hash Browns – Diner Style Restaurant Hashbrown Recipe


Why are potatoes called hash?

The name is derived from French: hacher, meaning ‘to chop’. It originated as a way to use up leftovers.

What do they call hash browns in Britain?

While hash browns (known to be American) consist of finely julienned potatoes that have been fried, bubble and squeak (known to be British) consists of potatoes and cabbage (often from leftovers), mixed and fried.

What do Americans call breakfast potatoes?

Home fries are cubed, wedged, or sliced potatoes that are pan- or skillet-fried. In America, home fries are traditionally served for breakfast in place of hash browns.

Why are hash browns called Brown?

The name refers to the fact that the dish consists of potatoes and onions fried until brown, the word “hash” derives from the French term “hacher” which means to hack or chop. The proper name is “hashed brown potatoes” which comes from the French word for “hatcher”, which means to hack or chop.

Are fried potatoes hash browns?

Basically, much like the term “hash browns” has evolved from “hashed brown potatoes,” the dish itself has also changed into various forms somewhere along the line. Whether or not you agree that any fried blob of cut-up potatoes is technically hash browns considering their hazy past — that’s up to you to decide.

Where did the term ‘hash’ come from?

The term ‘hash’ finds its origins in the French word ‘hacher’, which points to the action of chopping or hacking. Since the leftover potatoes were made in a similar fashion, it is believed that the dish got its name from there. In her book, Maria describes hash browns as, “fried mixture of cold boiled potatoes”.

What is a hash browned potato called?

If a dish of hash browned potatoes incorporates chopped meat, leftovers, or other vegetables, it is more commonly referred to as hash. [better source needed] Hash browns are also manufactured as a dehydrated food, which is sometimes used by backpackers.

When did hash brown potatoes get shortened?

Food Reference states that the term “hashed brown potatoes” was finally shortened and referred to as hash browns by 1970 – although it remains a mystery how or why this transition took place.

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