The Mysterious North GA Tater Log (written by Dad...7 years ago)
|My daddy....the intellectual, of course. Or, as I call him: Indiana|
Jones. "Indy" for short.
Just the other day my 21 year old son and I were watching some little league baseball at our local recreation center. It was great to see all of these little boys doing the same thing my own son did just 10 or 11 short years ago. I am sure that the memories filled his senses just as they did mine. The only thing not filled were our stomachs as it was well past supper time and the hot dogs and nachos just weren’t up to the task of quenching the appetite of two very adult red necks. My wife’s earlier mention of chicken, beans, and corn bread beckoned to us both, but there was something amiss on the king's menu and my son reached deep into the annals of his culinary mind for the answer -- Tater Logs. Now I am not quite sure of the origins of the tater-log but my suspicions do run deep and as you will read on I will expound to you my reasoning.
I cannot recall my earliest encounter with what I can only assume to be this regional delicacy called the tater-log, as I have long been associated with its unique flavor but I can only suspect that it was in my middle teens that I discovered this giant “French Fry.” I hesitate to group this delectable little tuber with the French fry as I would not want to insult the good people at the Favorite Market stores, but upon first impression as a teen that is what I thought it was. Now, as an educated adult I know and respect the vast difference. Yankees will still peer curiously at our carved spud and call it “a big French fry”, oh but my, ignorance is bliss.
The tater-log, I am sure will never be featured on Emeril LaGasse as a main dish or even an appetizer but that would only be because Emeril has never had the pleasure of walking into a Favorite Market and letting that concocting aroma of lard and potato skins fill his nostrils. It can be quite refreshing. I am not so sure if it is the enticing aroma of TL’s or the mechanic behind me in the line, but tater-logs have a scent that is all too much their own. Made of a combination of quarter sliced , unpeeled Irish Potatoes, flour, butter milk, too much salt, and a sprinkle of black pepper, the long canoe shaped potato has proven to be a lunch staple for hundreds of brick masons, carpet installers, and mechanics in the North Georgia area for 20 years or more. I myself have found that on more than one occasion while deer hunting, that the T.L. has proven to be filling and satisfying as well as affordable. At only .99 cents for a neat dozen even the most spend thrifty sportsman can eat like he was at the finest hunting lodge in the south and I am sure that will be great news for the female financial manager in any deer hunter’s home.
I have never really looked closely at the internal parts of this mysterious gift from the convenience store wizards but I may have been afraid that would border in heresy or even blasphemy, so tonight I decided I must cross the line into the unknown and really look at the internal organs of the Mysterious North Georgia Tater-Log.
The tater-log is not really a log contrary to the name. I have heard some of my hunting buddies question if it was really a tater but I have never had any question whether or not it was a log. It is not a log but it is in fact a tater. To be exact the tater-log is an Irish, or as my aunt Mamie would call it “arsh tater.” After washing the potato it is then quartered, not peeled, rolled in batter, and then deep fried in oil, and I am sure it is the same oil used to deep fry gizzards and livers; if you inspect your box closely I am sure you will find one or the other therin. Now it may or may not be company policy to age these carbohydrate nibblets, at least one half a day, I don’t know but I can tell you this; no matter the time of day, you can always find the hopper full.
Tater-logs can be eaten in a myriad of ways and I am quite sure you have found your own special way of ruminating these little tubers but I enjoy mine right out of the box. Ketchup can be added for the faint of heart or you can grab a side of livers if you need a little more protein. You must accompany a tater log with the required Vienna Sausage as a meat for your dining pleasure and it can be followed with a Little Debbie if your are a true practitioner of dining purity. There are those souls who have purposely demented these meals by adding a Honey Bun , but it is not recommended. And to ensure your dining is complete a true Coca Cola, not diet nor Pepsi, would be the finishing touch befitting a tater log meal ( Coke in a 12 ounce glass bottle is preferred )
The potato is a versatile food and has been prepared in a thousand ways in a thousand countries around the world. It brought Ireland to her knees in the 1840’s yet today is still her number one crop. Over a billion bags are harvested each year in Russia alone and in China nearly that many, yet there is only one place in the world that I know where you can find the truest and best use for the potato; The Mysterious North Georgia Tater Log; a taste Emeril will never enjoy. Bam!