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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.

              2. 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

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

                2. 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.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Vetter

                    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

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

                        1. re: Cheflambo

                          Ha! Pretty much just what I posted. Are you in the midwest?!

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

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

                          1. 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

                              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. 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 Reply
                              1. re: link_930

                                I grew up on the west coast (Oregon) and there always were eggs.

                              2. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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

                                          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. 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. 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.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                              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

                                                "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

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

                                              2. re: Diane in Bexley

                                                Our Hungarian version contains eggs, celery, onion, green pepper, dill weed and --- green beans. It is usually dressed with sour cream and the top is liberally sprinkled with paprika.

                                              3. 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

                                                  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

                                                    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

                                                      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

                                                        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

                                                          My Mother is from delta area of Mississippi...

                                                        2. re: mwright

                                                          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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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

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

                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                              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

                                                                                your yuppie versions sounds fab!

                                                                                Recipe please???

                                                                                1. re: Isabella

                                                                                  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

                                                                              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

                                                                                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

                                                                                  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

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

                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                      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

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

                                                                                        1. re: meatn3

                                                                                          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

                                                                                            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

                                                                                              "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

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

                                                                                  2. 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

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

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

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

                                                                                                1. 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. 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

                                                                                                      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

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

                                                                                                        1. re: oryza

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

                                                                                                          But I have never had much love for fruit cocktail.

                                                                                                          1. re: oryza

                                                                                                            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. 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. 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. 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

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

                                                                                                              2. 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. 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

                                                                                                                    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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Growing up, there were no eggs in our potato salad because I was the brat who picked them all out with a spoon and ate them before anyone else could.

                                                                                                                            Man, what an old topic. But I'm still a brat!

                                                                                                                            1. Grew up in deepest white-bread Connecticut, where there were no eggs in the potato salad. Ever. Just potatoes, diced celery and Hellman's.

                                                                                                                              1. Eggs in potato salad is a regional or ethnic difference. It's just a style thing. I prefer it because that's what I grew up with.

                                                                                                                                Now, pickles in deviled eggs are SO a Southern style, and I stand firmly against it. Leave pickles out of deviled eggs! It ruins the subtle flavor of the eggs.

                                                                                                                                (On another note, I also had guacamole once where they put eggs in it. Seriously???)

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: Main Line Tracey

                                                                                                                                  "Now, pickles in deviled eggs are SO a Southern style, and I stand firmly against it."

                                                                                                                                  Interesting - I'm Southern and everyone I've ever known to put pickles in deviled eggs has been from the mid-west!

                                                                                                                                  I'm in complete agreement with you though. I like my deviled eggs pretty simply prepared.

                                                                                                                                2. Obviously there are a million ways to make potato salad. This dispute isn't about potato salad. It's about family authority and the older generation getting nervous when they see younger members straying from what to them are traditional ways. You should have heard my mother on the subject of meatloaf....or my MIL on the subject of...anything.

                                                                                                                                  1. In Texas I mainly encounter potatoes with mayonnaise, yellow mustard, dill pickle, and minced celery and onion. I make mine that way with extra dill pickle juice and use red potatoes, not overcooked, because they hold up better and don't turn it into a seasoned bowl of cold mashed potatoes. Also I believe a smoked brisket or pork ribs is an essential accompaniment.

                                                                                                                                    1. I grew up in both Chicago and northern Wisconsin. In my family the actual potato salad is made without eggs mixed in, however, it IS topped with sliced hardboiled eggs. Which, I suppose, eventually get mixed in. Deli potato salads in WI where I grew up did not seem to include eggs. I don't recall eating much potato salad outside of my own family, so it's hard for me to say if my friends, their parents added eggs.

                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: tiffeecanoe

                                                                                                                                        Delis here in NY usually have regular plain potato salad , very thin sliced with not much besides mayo and vinegar, and then "Penn Dutch" bigger chunks which has hard boiled eggs mixed in. Something for everyone!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                          Pensylvania Dutch. You're right, they do put hard-boiled eggs into the potato salad in Pennsylvania Deutsch country. I remember thinking how weird it was when I first discovered it. I wonder if eggs-in-the-potato-salad originated as a German-American thing. They are the 2nd biggest ancestral group in the US, after all, (British is first). So it wouldn't seem regional, since they settled almost everywhere. But German settlement does roughly track Miracle Whip country.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: AdinaA

                                                                                                                                            I used to think it exotic or unusual, but now I always make my potato salad with a couple of hard boiled eggs. Protein, if nothing else!

                                                                                                                                      2. This is like asking what is the proper recipe for bread?

                                                                                                                                        Simple answer is there is no such thing as proper recipe and there are a million twists on potato salad. Just make it how you like it.

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                                                                                                                                        1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                          I saw a cooking show with John Besh last week and he ran all the boiled eggs through a ricer. Never heard of that before.

                                                                                                                                        2. I use eggs ... usually ... live in the South/Southwest (where my mother is from) and grew up in the Midwest. Also yellow mustard, mayo, onion, chopped dill pickles & juice, and red bell pepper. I mix while the potatoes are still hot, so I get a mashed + chunky effect.