Summer is here. And so are salt potatoes.
Many of my formative years were spent in Syracuse, NY. Other than being notable for having ridiculous quantities of snow, Syracuse is also notable for it's nickname: The Salt City. It has something to do with producing actual salt back in the day, but that is history. If you know me, you know history makes my eyes roll back in my head and I produce loud snoring noises. If you really care about the history of salt and Syracuse, look it up on the interwebs.
Salt potatoes, however, I could wax on about forever. They are really a Syracuse thing and when you introduce the salty, buttery bits to newbies the look of pure lust that washes over their face is worth the (minimal) effort.
I had actually mostly forgotten all about salt potatoes until a Wegman's grocery opened here in Virginny a few years ago. I quickly spotted the bag and then went on a wild hunt through the store for cheese curds, Bully Hill wine, Hoffman's and Snappy Grillers, State Fair Spedie Sauce, and, of course, Sal's Birdland Sauce. I vowed to order a F-M High School shirt to prove that I knew what I was doing when I shopped there envisioning alumni stopping me aisle after aisle to pay homage.
Nowadays I actually dread shopping at Wegmans. The whack-o parking lot, the overwhelming massiveness of the store, the ho-hum-ness of their prepared foods, the notverynice clientele, and even the horrific merge back onto 7 at rush hour all conspire against me visiting with any regularity.
It turns out that you don't actually need that nifty bag from Hinerwadel's. Just trot off to your local grocery store and buy some "new" potatoes. I prefer using red jacket potatoes because they are inherently creamy and sweet. Try to keep them at about 1-2 inches in diameter. Generally speaking, you boil 4 1/4 pounds of potatoes with 12 ounces of salt. You can increase or decrease the quantities to your liking. When cooked through, drain but do not rinse. The salt will leave a nice thin crust on each potato. Melt some butter (Earth Balance vegan butter is perfect) and dunk each potato in the butter before you pop it into your mouth. The leftovers, if there are any, make bomb-ass potato salad, by the way.