Did you know that February 2nd is National Tater Tot Day? It’s an easy day for me to remember because it’s also my only brother’s birthday. Tater tots are an iconic American food that was created in the early 1950’s. The founders of Ore-Ida were trying to figure out what to do with all the little leftover pieces of potato that they had tons of everyday. They chopped up the potato pieces, mixed them with flour and seasonings, then forced the mixture through the barrel of an extruder, slicing off little one-inch pieces as the mixture came through. And so the tater tot was born.
Actually, when the little potato nuggets were first created, they didn’t have a name for them so the owners of Ore-Ida decided to have a name-the-product contest among their employees. The name “Tater Tots” was submitted by a young mother named Clora Lay Orton. Everyone loved the name and she won the contest.
It’s hard to believe that when the inexpensive tater tots were first sold in stores in 1956, they didn’t exactly fly off the shelves. Today, Americans consume approximately 70 million pounds of them per year! It’s safe to say the lowly tater tot has finally found its place in society, from school cafeterias to the ever popular food truck. It’s certainly found its way to our dinner table!
CHEESY BACON TATER TOTS
- 1 bag frozen tater tots
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup ranch dressing
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 6 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
- 2 stalks green onions, chopped
- Bake tater tots according to package directions.
- While tots are baking, combine sour cream and ranch dressing in a bowl.
- Drizzle sour cream mixture over baked tater tots.
- Sprinkle cheeses over the top.
- Place under broiler until cheese is completely melted.
- Remove from broiler and top with crumbled bacon and green onions.
- Return to broiler for 2-5 minutes to warm up the bacon.
- Serve hot.