On February 2nd, National Tater Tot Day recognizes a kitchen staple. In the United States, we consume approximately 3.5 billion of these nuggets of potato goodness per year.
These bite-sized bits of golden deliciousness created from the scraps from making French fries once were used to feed cattle. But how do the cast-offs from making French fries become the bite-sized, kitchen-friendly morsels we love to devour today? Through persistence and ingenuity, of course!
Two brothers, Nephi and Golden Grigg, along with their brother-in-law started dabbling in frozen food when they rented a plant on the Oregon and Idaho borders in 1934. They focused on making French fries, but the waste fed to cattle seemed excessive. Was there a way to reduce the excess? Maybe, but instead, they chose to create a product from the excess. Not only did the scrapped and shredded bits form into tasty bites when blanched and fried, but they also fit into their product line, too. They froze well, could be baked, and were delicious! By 1952, they purchased the plant, forming the Oregon Frozen Foods Company that would later become Ore-Ida.