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Please help settle dispute with my Mom

Tehama May 26, 2008 05:28 PM

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.>


  1. c
    Coconuts Jun 19, 2008 05:08 PM

    I was 18 before I found out potato salad wasn't supposed to have tomatoes in it! Grandma's is only mashed if she overcooks the potatoes, with mayo, mustard, onion, celery, eggs, relish and tomatoes. I haven't ever tried to make it myself.

    1. s
      Sally LaRhette Jun 3, 2008 05:08 PM

      hi Tehema, Delicious discussion here about classic potato salad....Eggs improve the protein value, usually available, mayo usually available, salt and pepper, usually available, so you can see how the basic emergedand potatoes have been around a very long time since they saved many lives in
      'ireland...must have seemed like quite a treat to many, it still is except for super market potato salad!

      1. Tehama Jun 1, 2008 05:47 AM

        Well, it does seem that the vast majority of my wonderful CH friends agree with my mom. She read this thread and felt thoroughly vindicated! Y'all are the best! Thanks!

        1. LulusMom May 31, 2008 06:01 AM

          No, I have never seen potato salad with eggs in it. I strongly dislike hard boiled eggs, and definitely would have noticed them if they were there.

          1. jodymaryk May 30, 2008 08:39 PM

            Seattle area. Yep, definitely HB eggs. Onion, pickle, mayo, mustard, celery, vinegar and darn it, after reading all about it I am going to have to make this years first batch of potato salad this weekend! Thanks CH's!

            1 Reply
            1. re: jodymaryk
              meatn3 May 30, 2008 09:26 PM

              That's exactly how I made mine tonight. My first batch for the first trip to the beach for the season!

              Used new potatoes from my CSA, Dijon, white balsamic, Kosher salt, pepper.

            2. s
              Simpatico May 30, 2008 12:22 PM

              Here's my sister's recipe, which is delicious in its simplicity:

              10 russets (preferably Idaho), boiled, peeled and diced
              10 hard boiled eggs, chopped
              good mayonnaise (Best Foods) - enough to moisten
              a few squirts of yellow mustard - enough to add "zing"
              onion salt, celery salt and pepper to taste

              My mother's version (the one I grew up with) adds peeled, diced cucumber, LOTS of chopped onion, and a preponderance of celery salt. No pickles, no relish, no sweet stuff.

              Ah, I can just taste my childhood as I write this . . .

              1. c
                classylady May 29, 2008 03:47 AM

                The recipe in my book is for Russian potato salad using hard boiled eggs, cooked diced carrots, peas, green beans and diced pickle. The mayo is mixed with sour cream.I do not add the eggs.

                1 Reply
                1. re: classylady
                  pemma May 29, 2008 11:58 AM

                  I am in the Boston area and have never heard of or seen potato salad with eggs in it.

                2. coll May 29, 2008 02:35 AM

                  I make it the way my Italian MIL taught me, with hard boiled eggs. My mother made it different every time, and always used red potatoes: but my husband likes it mushy, so now I use Idahos. When I worked at a deli, we had Potato Salad with no eggs, and Penn Dutch with eggs. The plain did sell better as I recall.

                  1. s
                    sueatmo May 28, 2008 07:06 PM

                    I grew up in the Midwest. My mother was from OK. We always had hard-boiled eggs in potato salad. My husband is fom IN. So did he. (His family used sweet pickles; my mom used sour.)

                    1. h
                      hsk May 28, 2008 07:00 PM

                      Hmm. I always thought potato salad ALWAYS had cubed boiled potatos, hardboiled eggs and mayo, the contentious ingredients were apples and onion. That's what I love about this site, I learn something new every day!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: hsk
                        meatn3 May 28, 2008 08:14 PM

                        The only time I've seen it w/ apples was when I lived in Puerto Rico. The first bite surprised my mouth! But all the bites after were enjoyed.

                        1. re: hsk
                          oryza May 30, 2008 07:48 PM

                          too funny! The most bizarre version I ever saw contained fruit cocktail... or is that a different beast altogether?

                          1. re: oryza
                            meatn3 May 30, 2008 09:22 PM

                            Thats just so very, very wrong....it scares me.

                            But I have never had much love for fruit cocktail.

                            1. re: oryza
                              k_d Jun 19, 2008 03:55 PM

                              I've seen this among Asian families. By far the best version I've ever had is my mom's, where she dices peeled apple and chunks of lobster into the potato salad. Yumm-OH! As you can imagine, that's not common picnic fare, but something entirely different and special. As for eggs in my mix ... it just depends if I remember to toss the eggs in while the potatoes are cooking. If I forget, I just make it without.

                          2. w
                            wayne keyser May 28, 2008 06:50 PM

                            Looking in the grocery service-deli counter, I see several "regular" potato salads (in addition to the redskin kind and others you've ruled out.)

                            I see "potato salad," "potato salad with egg," "deviled egg potato salad," and "Amish potato salad."

                            The first two are self-explanatory. The third has, I assume, a touch of mustard and paprika. The Amish-style is sweeter, as if pickle juice were in there (it's what I like).

                            So what's the "real" kind? All of 'em.

                            Now be a good child and respect what your mother tells you.

                            1. m
                              mojoeater May 28, 2008 06:47 PM

                              No eggs or pickles, please. Maybe some diced red bell pepper for contrast, but never eggs.

                              1. s
                                Shayna Madel May 28, 2008 06:36 PM

                                Not sure if it's regional or ethnic, but it's not the way my mom taught me to do it, here in the NYC-area. But, if I am making some for just me, sometimes I do put in hard-boiled eggs. The deli that used to be down the block from Mom's and sold a few different types of potato salad referred to the type with hard-boiled eggs in it as Pennsylvania Dutch.

                                1. q
                                  QSheba May 28, 2008 06:27 PM

                                  FWIW, no eggs in the potato salad in our house. (Or my mom's or grandmas')

                                  1. Karl S May 28, 2008 11:48 AM

                                    It's not regional, just really a combination of potato salad and egg salad...probably arose as a practical way to combine the two...so it's [perhaps regional to "thrifty great grandmothers" all over.

                                    1. l
                                      LaurCar May 28, 2008 09:42 AM

                                      PA born and raised, and although neither me or my family make potato salad with hardboiled eggs, I have seen it all over the place. I perfer it w/o egg.

                                      1. 16crab May 28, 2008 07:43 AM

                                        I grew up in NC and in my memory it was about 70/30 with no eggs/eggs in the pot salad. Almost like it was a familial thing - so and so's family would put eggs in, my family generally did not but you could have some renegade cousin at a reunion who would! I seem to recall the pre-made salad you can get at the deli counter having no eggs, but maybe that's just selective memory. My dh doesn't like potato salad so I almost never make it, but if I did I wouldn't put eggs in it. Even though I love eggs, putting them in potato salad just seems wrong to me.

                                        1. Morganna May 28, 2008 05:35 AM

                                          I actually just made my mother's recipe for potato salad this last weekend for the guests we had over. :)

                                          Hellman's regular mayo (nothing else tastes right to me)
                                          Cubed potatoes (boiled whole with the skin on, cooled, then peeled and cubed)
                                          Finely chopped celery
                                          Finely chopped onion (I used white onion, like Mom always did)
                                          Hard boiled eggs, diced (using one of those egg slicers)
                                          Seasoned salt

                                          Mix everything except the mayo and salt together the day before serving and put in the fridge. The morning of serving mix in the mayo and salt, then stick it back in the fridge. Gives the flavours time to marry before serving.

                                          My mother was mostly of German descent but from so far back you could only call us American. She was born in 1941 and raised in Roanoke, Indiana. I was born in Ohio and lived in Ohio, Northern Indiana, Southern Michigan, and North Central Iowa up until I graduated high school in Iowa, so we're very much from the Midwest.

                                          BTW, you don't mention what region you're in! :)

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Morganna
                                            coney with everything May 29, 2008 05:51 AM

                                            My mom makes it the same way, with the addition of chopped sweet pickle. She's of German/French descent, from Michigan

                                          2. h
                                            Harters May 28, 2008 03:25 AM

                                            Never seen eggs in a UK potato salad. Potato, mayo, spring onions - that's it. Great time of year for us to make it, as its Jersey Royal season.

                                            Personally I prefer the method of coating in a flavoured vinaigrette while the spuds are still warm. Is that what Americans mean by "German style"?

                                            15 Replies
                                            1. re: Harters
                                              greedygirl May 28, 2008 03:45 AM

                                              Personally, I think of the mayo version as German-style, and the vinaigrette type as French.

                                              1. re: greedygirl
                                                dkenworthy May 28, 2008 06:25 AM

                                                I think of the mayo version as "American", the bacon dressing served warm as German, and the vinaigrette version as French (I use Julia Child's recipe in the Way to Cook). I love them all. I also make a yuppie version with red potatoes, sour cream, chives, and Maytag blue. You might guess that we eat a lot of potatoes!

                                                1. re: dkenworthy
                                                  Isabella May 29, 2008 03:23 AM

                                                  your yuppie versions sounds fab!

                                                  Recipe please???

                                                  1. re: Isabella
                                                    dkenworthy May 29, 2008 06:10 AM

                                                    Well, I don't really have a recipe. Natural Foods up in Portland (more than 12 years ago) used to sell this in their deli case, and my husband loved it so much I recreated it when we moved back to California.

                                                    What I do is steam small red potatoes until they are barely done (you could boil them, but I have better luck steaming potatoes). While still warm, I cut them into halves or quarters (I don't peel them), depending on their size and dress them with a small drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice and generous salt (once the salad is cold it always seems less salty than when it was warm). When they are completely cooled to room temperature, I dress them with enough sour cream to make them moist but not gloppy, add lots of fresh snipped chives, fresh ground white pepper, and as much Maytag blue crumbled as seems decadent without being overpowering. Chill for a few hours before serving.

                                                    I might have to make a batch this weekend!

                                              2. re: Harters
                                                meatn3 May 28, 2008 09:21 AM

                                                German is generally a hot potato salad with a sugar/ vinegar dressing which usually includes bacon and onion of some sort. The dressing is cooked and the dish is served warm or at room temperature. I have never seen it served cold.

                                                1. re: meatn3
                                                  Harters May 28, 2008 10:25 AM

                                                  Thanks for the explanation. Definately not a method we see in the UK.

                                                  The vinaigrette style that I was describing (which I always think of as East European) is to pour over the dressing while the spuds are still hot and then leave to go cold.

                                                  1. re: Harters
                                                    meatn3 May 28, 2008 08:08 PM

                                                    I make all three styles. I like the German style with smoked meats or smoked fish. Try it sometime - it is rather addicting!

                                                    In the States probably 95% of the Mayo style potato salads I've seen contain mustard of some sort. There are probably as many variations as there are cooks!

                                                    1. re: meatn3
                                                      Harters May 29, 2008 01:26 AM

                                                      Interesting. About the only time I'd add mustard to mayo was in a celeriac remoulade.

                                                      1. re: Harters
                                                        meatn3 May 29, 2008 10:39 AM

                                                        Do you make deviled eggs? Or is that mainly a US thing? They are basically mayo/mustard mixed with the yolks of HB eggs. From that base people often add other ingredients - almost as wide ranging as this potato salad methodology!

                                                        1. re: meatn3
                                                          Morganna May 30, 2008 04:46 AM

                                                          I use grainy mustard and ground chipotle to make huevos diablos. :)

                                                          1. re: meatn3
                                                            greedygirl May 30, 2008 04:59 AM

                                                            Sounds like oeufs mimosa to me - a French family I stayed with a lot in my teens used to have that a lot as a starter.

                                                            1. re: meatn3
                                                              Harters May 30, 2008 05:04 AM

                                                              Certainly not common in Britain. I see a recipe that mixes the yolk with mayo & Dijon mustard. The mix is then stuffed back into each egg half and eaten as an hors d'oeuvre. Another Brit site suggests that it is, as you say, an American thing. I rather like the idea of chopping all this for a sandwich filling - might you do that in the US?

                                                              Eggs Mayo, where halved hard boiled eggs were simply coated with mayo, used to be a common starter here (circa 1960s/early 1970s).

                                                              1. re: Harters
                                                                Sherri May 30, 2008 06:27 AM

                                                                "I rather like the idea of chopping all this for a sandwich filling - might you do that in the US?"

                                                                Yep. It's called an egg salad sandwich. Growing up and attending Catholic school, if you didn't have a tuna salad sandwich on Friday, it was a pretty good bet that you ate an egg salad sandwich instead. A sandwich with crisp lettuce and soft egg salad filling still makes me nostalgic.

                                                                1. re: Sherri
                                                                  meatn3 May 30, 2008 08:32 AM

                                                                  Serve it on toast & I'll have one too!

                                                        2. re: Harters
                                                          greedygirl May 29, 2008 02:57 AM

                                                          I think of that as French!

                                                    2. chef chicklet May 27, 2008 01:50 PM

                                                      Tehama, I grew up with two, one like you describe and a wonderful German Hot potato salad that my Dad would insist my mom make. But most of time the one that my New York mother made was made with russets, miracle whip (i know i know she hated mayo) yellow mustard, celery, onion and eggs. I know she had to put at least 4 in the salad and topped it with sliced eggs-two. My memory goes back to the times when I lived in Oregon, and I doubt there was any influence from there since she disliked real mayonnaise. Potato salad on Sunday with her wonderful fried chicken....even I could forgive her use of Miracle Whip!

                                                      Later, when I moved out, I made the same salad only I used the mayo here in the Bay Area, Best Foods. So my mom is from the East coast, and my dad the Midwest. I think it is the same all over if the recipe was on the jar...

                                                      1. k
                                                        kkak97 May 27, 2008 01:44 PM

                                                        I make my grandmothers recipe and it calls for Idaho potatoes, eggs, yellow mustard, mayo, onion, celery, pickles, salt & pepper. My grandmother was making this recipe in the 40's.

                                                        It is just outstanding with fried chicken.

                                                        1. C. Hamster May 27, 2008 01:28 PM

                                                          Always with the eggs growing up. That's the way I make it too, but I've had it may a time without them.

                                                          1. c
                                                            cyberroo May 27, 2008 12:30 PM

                                                            You'd think that if the potato-only salad was going to have roots anywhere, it would be Idaho, but I can confirm that I never saw a potato salad without eggs in my years there.

                                                            And this weekend in San Francisco, the potato salad at the BBQ I went to had eggs in it, too. (which was a blessing, because the potatoes were crunchy.)

                                                            1. m
                                                              MrsCris May 27, 2008 12:28 PM

                                                              I'm all about the HB eggs in potato salad. I learned it from my mom (grew up in central Alberta, Canada) who learned it from her mom (grew up in England). My husband says it is as good as his mom's was (she was scandinavian transplanted to Canada). My dad's mom also made it with HB eggs and she's from Salt Lake City.

                                                              I agree that it's all about personal taste (with mustard / without? with dill/ without? with relish ... or dill pickles... or scallions... or white onions etc) but I do think it is more common than not to have potato salad with hard boiled eggs.

                                                              Moral of the story - Mom is always right.

                                                              1. viperlush May 27, 2008 08:25 AM

                                                                Put me on the HB egg side w/southern roots. Last year I had my g-ma teach me to make potatoe salad and sweet tea. Potatoe, mayo, mustard, sweet relish (and juice), pimento, celery seed, onion, HB egg. I use only the whites, but my mother says that the yolks are what gives the salad its flavor.

                                                                1. maplesugar May 27, 2008 08:20 AM

                                                                  I grew up (outside of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) with my Mum and Grans making potato salad with sliced HB eggs , w diced celery, hellman's, s&p and potatoes. I make potato salad a number of different ways now but that version will always remind me of picnics at home.

                                                                  1. s
                                                                    Sherri May 27, 2008 07:46 AM

                                                                    Important Life Lesson: whatever your mom said is correct! If she can't be right about her potato salad recipe then there is no hope for humanity. Arguing wth mom about family recipes is in the same category as kicking the Easter Bunny.


                                                                    PS re: PS I come down squarely in the middle - sometimes HB eggs and other times no eggs w/ mayo-based potato salad. Depends on whim. Vinaigrette or hot bacon fat-style are totally different bowls of salad. No eggs. Ever.

                                                                    1. m
                                                                      mwright May 27, 2008 07:33 AM

                                                                      Does anybody out there mash their potato salad? When I took my first potato salad to an event in my husband's community I did the usual cubed potatoes/eggs/onions/celery/pickles -- no one had ever seen such a thing before and they treated it as a whole different variety of salad. (Got to say, thier version is mashed -- or even, shudder, instant -- potatoes with sandwich spread as mayo and, sometimes, beet juice). I have since had it mashed in other places here (Newfoundland).
                                                                      Just to add -- I can live without egg in the potato salad, but I must have onions. I sometimes add baby peas and radish slices, just for colour. (I think I did all of this on the occasion mentioned above).

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: mwright
                                                                        Davwud May 27, 2008 09:03 AM

                                                                        I like it very lumpy mashed. Not perfect cubes but cubes that have halfway mashed themselves to give a nice creamy dressing with plenty of tooth to it.


                                                                        1. re: mwright
                                                                          auburnselkie May 27, 2008 11:59 AM

                                                                          My mother-in-law makes it mashed (she's from the California Central Valley) - but it's mashed smooth and bright yellow from the French's mustard. I don't think it does have eggs in it, either. She says this is the most-requested dish at her church. My husband grew up on it and loves it this way, so he gets his fill at Mom's. :)
                                                                          I'd never seen such a thing. The potato salad I grew up with was cubes of red potato, with pickles, onions, celery, mayo, dijon mustard, and certainly, hard boiled eggs (and I'm from the Gulf Coast).

                                                                          1. re: mwright
                                                                            meatn3 May 27, 2008 01:54 PM

                                                                            My Mother makes three different mayo based potato salads. Her most requested recipe is a very smooth mashed version. The HB egg is grated, onion finely minced, celery cut very fine. It is not my favorite style, but the interesting thing about the uber-smoothness is that your mouth begins to seek out the little morsels of crunch and it somehow adds to the enjoyment of the dish.

                                                                            1. re: mwright
                                                                              amethiste May 31, 2008 06:25 AM

                                                                              I don't mash potatoes for my potato salad but I do remember Justin Wilson ( the Cajun Chef) doing it on his show. I a;so have spoken to someone from Loisiana who said it was traditional to mash potatoes for potato salad. Maybe it's a Loisiana/Cajun thing?

                                                                              1. re: amethiste
                                                                                meatn3 May 31, 2008 09:29 PM

                                                                                My Mother is from delta area of Mississippi...

                                                                              2. re: mwright
                                                                                sandramrma May 31, 2008 08:05 AM

                                                                                My mother in law-also from Newfoundland used to make potato salad with leftover mashed potatoes.My husband likes this but I do not care for the consistency of it!

                                                                              3. d
                                                                                Diane in Bexley May 27, 2008 06:52 AM

                                                                                Not sure if this is an official Central Ohio PS or a Hungarian version, but the potato salad I grew up with was made wth russet/Idaho potatoes marinated while warm in pickle juice, Hellmann's mayo, HB eggs and chopped dill pickles seasoned with s&p and dill weed.

                                                                                PS is one of those things I would never order out or eat at someone else's home because it won't have the right taste. Sorry, but very iconoclast about this dish.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Diane in Bexley
                                                                                  julesrules May 28, 2008 12:49 PM

                                                                                  This is pretty much how I learned to do it from my Dad, who is from Atlanta. His Mom was from Boston. Although I noticed recently his sister, who still lives in Atlanta and cooks more Southern food overall, seems to make a different style. Definitely no Hungarian influence in our family.
                                                                                  I actually add wine vinegar, chopped onion and a little garlic... I like it kinda stinky! And he never used fresh dill. But the pickles, brine and egg are KEY I think. I will eat other types of potato salad, and sometimes even enjoy them, but this stuff, eaten while still warm... heaven.

                                                                                  1. re: julesrules
                                                                                    pattisue May 29, 2008 06:20 PM

                                                                                    "eaten while still warm ... heaven."

                                                                                    I completely agree. My husband prefers it if I make the potato salad at the last minute, because he likes it better warm. He'll eat it cold as leftovers, but he loves it best when it's freshly made.

                                                                                    A few weeks ago I served freshly made potato salad with a meal, and a friend overheard one person grumble that the potato salad was warm, thus unsafe to eat! My friend let this person know that it was warm because it was freshly made. Geez.

                                                                                    1. re: pattisue
                                                                                      julesrules May 30, 2008 09:27 AM

                                                                                      I actually even nuke the leftovers ever so slightly so they're a little warm.

                                                                                2. d
                                                                                  dkenworthy May 27, 2008 06:16 AM

                                                                                  I make my potato salad exactly like my mom does (although it never tastes as good). White waxy potatoes, peeled, tossed while warm with some brine from dill pickles, finely chopped celery, French's mustard, salt, black pepper, finely chopped dill pickle, and hard-boiled egg, chopped (1 per potato!), and Best Foods mayo, sweet onion if available. She says it is the egg that makes the salad. My husband agrees, this is his favorite salad ever.

                                                                                  1. s
                                                                                    swsidejim May 27, 2008 05:38 AM

                                                                                    growing up in the midwest, our potato salad had hard boiled eggs, as well as cubes of cucumber in it. Also diced red onion.

                                                                                    I dont know if that recipe is "proper" or not. ;-)

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: swsidejim
                                                                                      coll May 29, 2008 02:38 AM

                                                                                      Sometimes I add radish slices if I have them around, the guy who taught me this told me it's a Canadian thing. Proper or not, it's a great touch.

                                                                                    2. l
                                                                                      LadyCook61 May 27, 2008 05:35 AM

                                                                                      I've always made it without the hard boiled eggs. Just white potatoes, mayo, white vinegar, onions, salt and pepper, and a little milk to keep it moist.

                                                                                      1. roxlet May 27, 2008 05:27 AM

                                                                                        I always use eggs in my potato salad, which might be somewhat unique since I toss the still-warm potatoes with olive oil and vinegar before adding the mayo. I use a lot less mayo that way, and also add celery and finely chopped green onion. Yum.

                                                                                        1. Davwud May 27, 2008 04:22 AM

                                                                                          My mom of English background always made it with HBE.

                                                                                          I married into a Southern family with German roots. Their PS doesn't have eggs. Come to think of it, I'm not sure the Colonels does either. Not that that is a great standard for PS.


                                                                                          1. greedygirl May 27, 2008 02:47 AM

                                                                                            I've never had hard-boiled eggs in potato salad in England. I make mine either with vinaigrette (my favourite) or with spring onions, grainy mustard and mayo lightened with a little yoghurt.

                                                                                            1. l
                                                                                              link_930 May 27, 2008 12:46 AM

                                                                                              Personally, I'm not trying to make any generalizations whatsoever, I've never had egg in my potato salad while on the west coast. Moved to the DC area, it's something that seems to be the norm. Boo.

                                                                                              1. Rubee May 26, 2008 10:24 PM

                                                                                                Have to add me to the chorus. I don't think it's regional - I grew up in New England - but still love the potato salad I grew up with, including hard-boiled eggs (yolks mashed into the dressing, white cuts up and tossed with the potatoes). Your mom is going to be an even bigger fan of Chowhound now! ; )

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: Rubee
                                                                                                  Mellicita May 27, 2008 12:33 AM

                                                                                                  I have always been under the impression that eggs in potato salad was a southern US thing. Thats how my (southern) grandmother always made it.

                                                                                                  But I dont think there is any such thing as a "right" or "wrong" way to make potato salad. There are so many variations out there... make whatever suits you!

                                                                                                2. meatn3 May 26, 2008 09:30 PM

                                                                                                  The vast majority of mayo based potato salads I've eaten have HB eggs.

                                                                                                  1. sarah galvin May 26, 2008 08:42 PM

                                                                                                    I always have hard boiled eggs in potato salad. That was our traditional way of making it.

                                                                                                    1. Vetter May 26, 2008 07:32 PM

                                                                                                      Potato salad in my family is nearly as serious as mac salad (a v. big deal). And you definitely use hard boiled eggs. I miss the textural contrast when I have potato salad without eggs.

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Vetter
                                                                                                        Cheflambo May 26, 2008 07:58 PM

                                                                                                        My potato salad has no eggs IN it, but sliced hard cooked eggs arranged on top as a garnish (like pepperoni on a pizza) so it all ends up IN the potato salad. But I understand the consternation of the OP. When I first started making my own PS I consulted my mom, who said dont put this or that in (I recall that hers was pretty boring). So I went ahead and added whatever I wanted (sliced olives, finely diced carrots for crunch) and the first time I took this to a picnic, it was the first bowl to be emptied. I like to think I did something right.

                                                                                                        1. re: Cheflambo
                                                                                                          SweetPea914 May 27, 2008 12:36 PM

                                                                                                          That is exactly what I grew up on. We never put eggs in the salad though.

                                                                                                          1. re: Cheflambo
                                                                                                            sandramrma May 31, 2008 08:00 AM

                                                                                                            ThIs is how I make it !

                                                                                                        2. fromagina May 26, 2008 07:21 PM

                                                                                                          I believe the old Best Foods/Hellman's mayonnaise jars had their "Classic Potato Salad" recipe using hard boiled eggs. I've often thought that with all of those eggs, potato "salad" would almost be better served as a luncheon main course with a green salad on the side.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: fromagina
                                                                                                            MIss G May 26, 2008 07:45 PM

                                                                                                            Also from the Bay Area, had potato salad with russets, eggs, relish, French's mustard, and Best Food....so good...

                                                                                                          2. Dmnkly May 26, 2008 05:52 PM

                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                              sfumato May 26, 2008 05:54 PM


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

                                                                                                            2. m
                                                                                                              mpalmer6c May 26, 2008 05:49 PM

                                                                                                              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. Sarah May 26, 2008 05:35 PM

                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                  ricepad May 28, 2008 07:40 AM

                                                                                                                  You put your parents in your potato salad???

                                                                                                                  1. re: ricepad
                                                                                                                    Sarah May 28, 2008 09:36 AM

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

                                                                                                                    1. re: Sarah
                                                                                                                      ricepad May 28, 2008 11:08 AM

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

                                                                                                                  2. re: Sarah
                                                                                                                    Isabella May 29, 2008 03:16 AM

                                                                                                                    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. k
                                                                                                                    klieglight2 May 26, 2008 05:34 PM

                                                                                                                    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
                                                                                                                      pattisue May 26, 2008 08:22 PM

                                                                                                                      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
                                                                                                                        lynnlato May 27, 2008 03:36 AM

                                                                                                                        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!

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