Salt potatoes, the tasty staple served up at Central New York barbecues and fairs for generations, will soon be immortalized with its very own historic marker.

The historic salt potato marker is the first to be funded through Hungry for History, a brand-new grant program created by the Syracuse-based Pomeroy Foundation to help communities across the United States spotlight their local and regional foods.

The salt potato sign reads - Salt Potatoes. Popularized by salt industry workers, potatoes boiled in brine & paired with melted butter served in local taverns and eateries as early as 1883.

Credit - William G. Pomeroy Foundation
Credit - William G. Pomeroy Foundation

Salt potatoes made up most of a salt worker's daily diet in the 1800s. Irish salt miners working in salt springs around Onondaga Lake use to bring a bag of small, unpeeled, substandard potatoes to work each day to boil in the salt brine.

“We are delighted that this iconic Syracuse dish will kick off Hungry for History as the program’s first historic marker nationwide,” said Deryn Pomeroy, Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Pomeroy Foundation. “Salt potatoes are a fixture in our community and we are excited to celebrate this hometown pride by preserving their story for generations to come.”

“Much like family heirlooms, papers, and photographs, food connects us to our history and place. We pass our stories and our culture to the next generation along with our recipes,” said OHA Executive Director Gregg Tripoli. “Salt potatoes will always be a staple of family gatherings in Central New York. We are thrilled to partner with the Pomeroy Foundation to celebrate and memorialize their origin.”

The sign will be installed on July 7.

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