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Food for Thought: Spudley Do-Rights

Nancy Leson
Leson's results with listener David's "Splayed Potato" recipe.

Food for Thought listener David sent me a recipe for something he calls "Splayed Potatoes," which not only looked good to eat but fun to make. Though I have no doubt that he arrived at his method independently, he was beaten to the spud by Hasselback potatoes, basically the same thing, invented at Sweden's Hasselbacken restaurant.

I sent David's recipe off to Nancy Leson for kitchen testing, results pictured above. From there we were off to the potato races.

Potatoes are far behind rice, pasta and polenta on my starch parade. Nancy feels about the same, but that didn't stop us from talking over the best method for mashed, her perfect roast potatoes, tortilla d'Espagna made with potato chips, and whether or not that green stuff under the skins really is poisonous.

I've always wanted to try rosti, sort of a Swiss potato pancake and a favorite at John Sundstrom's Lark restaurant. His recipe includes clabber cream and paddlefish caviar. I think I'll try this simpler method.  

Fun SpudFacts

There are 90 words for potatoes in the Irish language.

Marie Antoinette made the tuber trendy when she wore a bouquet of potato flowers.

Grafting potato to tomato plants produces the TomTato, a plant which grows both.

Yes, you can eat sprouted potatoes, though you might not want to let it go as far as in this distuber-ing story...Mutant Potatoes Turn Lady's Kitchen into Alien Nightmare.


Every single diet I ever fell off of was because of potatoes and gravy.” – Dolly Parton

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.