Tater Tots: How Idaho Became a Mecca for America’s Favorite Snack
How many times have we heard the famous story, 'one person's trash is another person's treasure? When one thinks of one of America's most iconic snack foods, the term trash isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But thanks to the work of two Latter-Day Saint brothers from Oregon, the Tater Tot was born, and yes, there's an Idaho connection.
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Who hasn't heard of the Ore-Ida? Whether you live in Boise or Boston, everyone who has walked down a frozen food aisle has heard of the Oregon-based company. Years ago, before the company's creation, Golden and Francis Nephi Grigg rented a frozen processing plant in Ontario, Oregon.
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Oregon Public Radio reported that the brothers were procession and selling corn during the late 1940s and early 1950s. They later began producing frozen potato products eventually founding the company Ore-Ida in Ontario, Oregon. Potatoes were a challenging considering that America was falling in love with the French Fry and other frozen potato products.
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Ore-Idah produced vast amounts of potato products but couldn't find efficient use for the waste after potatoes became french fries. The leftover potatoes could be eaten, but the Griggs were looking to create a product that would be unique, and that the public would enjoy.
From Oregon Public Radio,
"The Griggs came up with a solution: chop up those bits, extrude them into logs, blanch them, and coat them in oil to prevent them from sticking together in their freezer bags. Voila, the tater tot."
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Tater Tots as well all know, are not unique to our area of the country. However, without the hard work and ingenuity of the Griggs brothers, we could be living in a world without Tater Tots.
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