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May 26, 2008 05:28 PM

Please help settle dispute with my Mom

Just had a lovely Memorial Day dinner with my Mom and family. However, we got into a debate over the proper recipe for potato salad.

(Just regular potato salad. Not German P.S., not the red-skinned kind, not some funky gourmet mix, etc.)

Mom had made it with a mix of boiled Idahos (presumably) and hard-boiled eggs. She said this is how I ate it the entire time growing up, but I have no recollection of this whatsoever. My Grandmother was there, and she too, said that is how potato salad is made. Then of course it ensued as to Great Aunt Millie and Cousin Chloe and "don't you remember Kathy who lived in the Barber's house before they moved there?" - apparently all these people made their potato salad with hard boiled eggs, too.

SOOO - is this regional? Or (gasp!) is it traditional way to make regular potato salad with hard boiled eggs? <My Mom said to settle this by asking about it on Chowhound. Which cracked me up, because I am always quoting this and that from the experts on Chowhound.>


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  1. Having just returned from a Memorial Day picnic with my family here in Central PA, I have to say there were at least 2 potato salads there, both including hard boiled eggs in some sort of mayonnaise based dressing.
    While I actually prefer a non-mayonnaise potato salad in the German style, (and my family usually makes it this way for personal consumption) I sort of have come to expect hard boiled eggs in any "typical" potato salad.
    Then again, I think everyone has their own take on what constitutes the perfect or "typical" potato salad.

    2 Replies
    1. re: klieglight2

      For me, those are the two most basic ingredients for potato salad. Potatoes and hard boiled eggs. Everything else depends on who will be eating it. Plain and simple for some occasions, everything but the kitchen sink for others.

      1. re: klieglight2

        I also have returned from a picnic weekend in central PA. I have to say that for as many times as I've seen potato salad w/ eggs I've also seen it without. Personally, I like it with pickled eggs. But that's a whole other topic!

      2. Yep. Potatoes (I switch around on types, sprinkled w/oil & vinegar), HB eggs, celery, onions, parsley, mayo -- my parents too. SFBay Area.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Sarah

          You put your parents in your potato salad???

          1. re: ricepad

            It does sound that way! OK ... my parents did too ... you knew that!

            1. re: Sarah

              Oh, I dunno...maybe your family recipe came from the Donner party!

          2. re: Sarah

            That's the way we've always made it too, and we use lots of eggs.
            We sometimes add green olives or sweet pickle relish. We live in New Orleans.

          3. My mother, with Finnish forebears, grew up in Michigan and moved to California. She always used chopped (or chunked) eggs. I love it that way.

            1. Seems to me, Tehama, that asking what constitutes a "traditional" potato salad is like asking what constitutes a "traditional" tomato sauce. Nevermind the wide variety of cultures that have their own versions, but even within any given region, it's a highly personal thing with no standard. You might be able to peg a certain recipe as unusual within a certain culture or region, but I don't think there's anything "regular" about potato salad at all.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Dmnkly


                I've had "traditional" potato salad with and without eggs- I think it depends an awful lot on region and family/cultural traditions.

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