Thursday, May 15, 2008

What Is German Potato Salad

Growing up I only liked my Mom's potato salad. She called it German potato salad and learned to make from her German mother. The white, mayo-laden concoctions sold at delis and supermarkets are from another class of food entirely.

When I moved to German I was shocked that the country is not overflowing with potato salad just like what I grew up eating. In fact, the one time since I’ve been here that I had homemade potato salad it wasn't at all what I expected. It was made with mustard, bacon, vinegar, and beef broth.

I Googled the term to figure out what authentic German potato salad is. The search returned more then 300,000 results. Sifting through various recipes and descriptions, here's what I figured out. There are generally two types: a creamy version made with mayonnaise, and a vinegar based version, which is German potato salad.

Even though my family’s recipe includes mayo, it also gets a generous helping of pickle juice. This serves as the vinegar. From here on out, I'm going to think of it as German-American potato salad. It’s a delicious combination that incorporates the best of both versions.

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