hash browns, home fries

Two potato preparations often offered as alternative side dishes for breakfasts in American diners and the like: Would you like hash browns or home fries with that? Both have idiomatic names, names that in fact are easily confused: both are browned by pan-frying, so the words browns and fries have some motivation in their names, while hash and home are simply puzzling.

From Wikipedia on hash browns:

Hash browns or hashed browns are a simple preparation in which potato pieces are pan-fried after being shredded, julienned, diced, or riced. In some cultures, hash browns or hashed browns can refer to any of these preparations, while in others it may refer to one specific preparation. In parts of the UK, hash browns can mean fried left over mashed potato. [In many parts of the U.S., this last dish is known as fried potato cakes or mashed potato cakes.] Hash browns are a staple breakfast food at diners in North America, where they are often fried on a large common cooktop or grill.

In some parts of the United States, hash browns strictly refer to shredded or riced pan-fried potatoes and are considered a breakfast food, while potatoes diced or cubed and pan-fried are also a side dish called country fried potatoes or home fries (though many variations of home fries are par-cooked before frying).

Photos of (crispy) hash browns (#1) and home fries (#2):



Instead of pan-frying, shredded or riced potatoes can be shaped and then deep-fried. You can do this at home — or you  can buy the commercial version: Tater Tots, the trademarked name of a form of hash browns made by Ore-Ida, deep fried grated potatoes in cylindrical shapes, served as a side dish:


(Some discussion of Tater Tots on this blog here.)

Then of course there are French fries (aka chips) and potato chips (aka crisps). So many ways to fry potatoes!

(Breakfast time approaches. Soon I’ll be offered various egg dishes, including omelettes and scrambles, with hash browns or home fries as a choice of accompaniment.)

One Response to “hash browns, home fries”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Mae Sander on Google+:

    You can do this endlessly with food-prep names. I once tried to explore cobblers, crisps, crumbles, pandownies, buckles, bettys. Distinctions blur.

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