23 Sep2009

“Grater Taters”

by Marketman


A large whole russet potato passed through a special contraption that turns the potato into a very, very long continuous paper thin coil, plunged into wickedly hot vegetable oil and then sprinkled with salt and spritzed with vinegar. Is that joy, or is that JOY? What the heck is it about potatoes and fat? It is one of the finest food marriages on the planet! This vendor at the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival had one of the busiest stalls, and you can see why. Crisp and slightly chewy at points, with salt and the brilliantly delivered vinegar spritz.


In the photo above, notice the guy int he white sweatshirt gently pushing the whole potato through the “grater”. In the background are other folks salting the freshly fried potatoes and you can see how at this stage you could add a dash of paprika, maybe cayenne and other spices…


A single large russet potato yielded an a large single plate serving, good for two. I was a bit concerned that the potato didn’t seem to be washed well (if at all) as they pulled them out of boxes straight from the farm. Maybe bits of the soil add to the flavor, but I would be worried about e coli or other cooties. Then again, whatever hitched a ride on the potato probably was fried to death.


But what really piqued my interest was the spray bottle filled with apple cider vinegar. This allowed customers to decide how much vinegar to put on their “taters”… It’s such a cool idea I could see this being done for home made fries cooked in goose fat. :) I am not going to get a blood test soon. I am not going to get a blood test soon. :)



  1. Hatari says:

    Good stuff, fried taters…there used to be a little stall that had the exact same thing, sans the vinegar spritz in our local Robinson’s mall…..so it’s probably still available around the metro, somewhere.

    MM! Frying them in goose fat makes this unfriendly for the vegetarians!…but I don’t really mind : )

    Sep 23, 2009 | 7:32 am


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  3. Connie C says:

    Why are the good things so baaaad for you? Waaaah!!!

    Sep 23, 2009 | 7:52 am

  4. brownedgnat says:

    Yumm. Totally dig that. Taters with spritz of vinegar. When I eat fish and chips, I always mix tartar sauce and vinegar for a total dipping experience.

    Sep 23, 2009 | 7:54 am

  5. Quillene says:


    Sep 23, 2009 | 8:21 am

  6. Mary Kim says:

    I wonder if it’s possible to get that crispy texture in the oven or turbo..

    Sep 23, 2009 | 8:23 am

  7. Mary Kim says:

    by the way I made a grape vinegar by accident, it’s only good as a refreshment(mix with water and add ice) but not really in the kitchen. I was after grape wine, the perfect ratio was 10kilos of campbell grapes to 2 kilos of sugar, the first try was only a kilo of sugar and now a vinegar, the latter would be a good wine after 3 months, it tastes like real good juice now.:)

    Sep 23, 2009 | 8:29 am

  8. Lou says:

    Good lord. I am compelled to dash to the kitchen and blast some potatoes in the oven, with olive oil and salt, just to approximate the tastes you conjured up, MM!

    Sep 23, 2009 | 9:13 am

  9. maryjoan says:

    now that’s the REAL salt and vinegar potato chips!
    MM, would you know if they sell that potato slicer contraption here in the country?

    Sep 23, 2009 | 9:27 am

  10. Cris Jose says:

    see? that’s why I like fried potatoes better than fried onions… pure-calorie-laden-artery-clogging-heaven…. LOL

    Sep 23, 2009 | 9:43 am

  11. Joyce says:

    that potato slicer contraption looks interesting, will google if its sold anywhere near my place.

    Sep 23, 2009 | 9:52 am

  12. mojito drinker says:

    yum =)

    Sep 23, 2009 | 9:54 am

  13. Mom-Friday says:

    mmm…fried taters with vinegar! this is the ‘fresh’ version of Lay’s Salt & Vinegar potato chips! forget the cal.and fats!

    Sep 23, 2009 | 11:25 am

  14. Mom-Friday says:

    yummy! the “fresh” version of Lay’s Salt & Vinegar potato chips! how can we attempt to do this home-made? any suggestions MM?

    Sep 23, 2009 | 11:41 am

  15. millet says:

    the malls in davao have small stands that have those same potatoes, with those same graters. hahaha…am currently reciting exactly the same mantra now after coming from a 4-day eating tour of bacolod and iloilo! no blood tests till next year!

    Sep 23, 2009 | 11:56 am

  16. chris says:

    saw stalls in sm megamall and galleria selling those kind of potato chips. i prefer them over french fries or the commercially packed potato chips. but here, they don’t have the cider spray.

    Sep 23, 2009 | 12:13 pm

  17. Marketman says:

    If anyone figures out the name of the slicer, and a source, please post it in a comment here, it seems like yet another kitchen contraption I could add to the cupboards… maryjoan, I personally haven’t seen it but it may be available here.

    Sep 23, 2009 | 1:35 pm

  18. betty q. says:

    MM: a vegetable/potato ribbonslicer (not a threader) made by Paderno costing…are you sitting down?…an industrial one can cost about $1000. but cheaper versions can cost about $600 more or less.

    Sep 23, 2009 | 2:11 pm

  19. betty q. says:

    On Amazon.com…plastic ones is available for less than $40!!!! Unless you want to make this into a business venture, I think plastic ones will do for home use! Otherwise, the plastic ones will not rise to the occasion if you plan on going into potato ribbon chip business!…better go with the industrial version!

    Sep 23, 2009 | 2:25 pm

  20. betty q. says:

    Chris: bring your own spray! Cheaper version…plant sprayer available at Dollar store. If you want to go frou-frou (as Silly Lolo would say!),you can buy the spray can at kitchen gadget stores…fill it with SINAMAK!…without the solids…

    Sep 23, 2009 | 2:31 pm

  21. Nicely says:

    wow this is mouth-watering! i’ve eaten taters like this last night @ Fiamma, Bel-Air, Makati and I couldn’t help but stand on the table for the second time.

    Sep 23, 2009 | 3:04 pm

  22. Lava Bien says:

    Love most of the Fairs here too, any street fair between late Spring to early Fall. From Garlic Fest (Gilroy) to Honey and Wine Fest (Livermore) to any Classic or Hot Rods Street Fair (Pleasanton)… very nice weather here in the Bay Area,beautiful people and delicious food…. the girls look delicious most of the time too hehehehe.

    Sep 23, 2009 | 3:06 pm

  23. Lava Bien says:

    It could be that some of those vendors fabricate their own tool/drill/slicer like the one I’ve seen in Mt. Shasta Street Fair for Curly Fries (garlic), they were so good and had the most people in line as it was cheap and very tasty.

    I googled the machine and found something similar to it but didn’t find anything exactly like it.

    Sep 23, 2009 | 3:11 pm

  24. maryjoan says:

    wow betty q, that’s A LOT of potato to sell before you can even recoup the cost of the contraption! hahaha thanks!

    Sep 23, 2009 | 3:50 pm

  25. junb says:

    That will definitely put french fries to shame …. I do love my potato fried on goose fat then oven baked together with steak. Goose fat cost $10 per can though but it is really worth plus much much healthier than vegetable oil .

    Sep 23, 2009 | 6:14 pm

  26. silly lolo says:

    BettyQ to the rescue again! Silly Lola and I are suckers for fish-n-chips but we just throw away the potato “slabs” they serve with it. Imagine how much better with ribbon potatoes and vinegar spritz! Hoy, whar is sinamak? It sounds wicked good!

    Sep 23, 2009 | 9:05 pm

  27. psychomom says:

    from what i recall, sinamak is the ilonggo version of suka. oftentimes have ginger like rhizome (forgot the name)soaking in it together with peppercorns, sili labuyo , onions, garlic. my step mom would say that the ginger like rhizome can only be found in iloilo. don’t know if that is true.

    Sep 23, 2009 | 9:12 pm

  28. pietra says:

    hi marketman! i’ve been a lurker for a looooong time now. if i’m not mistaken, the stall they’re referring to is called ribbon fries. they have one at market market, 4th or 5th floor. the ‘chips’ are served with a selection of dips, no vinegar spritz though.

    Sep 23, 2009 | 9:46 pm

  29. faithful reader says:

    Also is pampered chef sells something like this. But it is used for apples. I can’t remember what it is called.

    Sep 23, 2009 | 10:29 pm

  30. betty q. says:

    Faithful Reader: you could be referrring to the Apple-peeler/corer/slicer…it just slices the apples into maybe 1/4 inch slices and not thin enough for something like ribbon slices.

    Lava Bien: the grate they use for those curly fries is the threader, though I think the Paderno one has different grates…for ribbon chips and curly fries!

    Silly Lolo: you probably aren’t wearing your glasses …did you see Lava Bien’s comment clearly? In your area….”the girls selling those delicious food look DELICIOUS, too”…mwahahahaha

    Sep 23, 2009 | 11:59 pm

  31. betty q. says:

    Silly Lolo: a while back, Mimi posted her recipe for Sinamak! Thanks to her, I no longer buy the bottled one…IT IS WICKED!!!

    Maria Clara: you know the Gourmet Dilis you sent me? I did it and used part sinamak and the other stuff…Oh, it turned REALLY, REAALLY GOOD!!! A gazillion thanks to you!

    I wonder if she had her baby yet?!?

    Sep 24, 2009 | 12:08 am

  32. natie says:

    psychomom…you’re right re sinamak..the rhizome is galangal or langkawas in our local lingo…

    Sep 24, 2009 | 2:01 am

  33. Vicky Go says:

    Did you notice the girth of most of the patrons at such stands/stalls? An occasional indulgence or foray would be OK but making it a habit would be a risk to one’s health & well being one wouldn’t want to take!
    Look who’s talking: I just wolfed down a crispy pata. Now I’ll have to wait a couple of weeks before I go for my regular 3-mo cholesterol check.
    Acidic stuff – like vinegar go well w fried foods – cuts the greasy taste. But then, get ready with those Pepcid AC tabs. I like the ones you can take/chew a few minutes before you start eating such fatty/greasy stuff. They really help prevent heartburn & upset stomachs. BTW – since Oktoberfest beers are ready now, such fried foods really go well when you sample these brews. Another event to look forward to in the fall!

    Sep 24, 2009 | 2:16 am

  34. faithful reader says:

    The gadget that the pampered chef sells slices into 1/8th inch thick. I can’t remember if it will stay connected. I remember cutting potates to make kettle cooked chips. The price is reasonable. If you look online they are going for $31.50

    Sep 24, 2009 | 3:10 am

  35. betty q. says:

    Mary Joan…found on e-bay! Potato ribbon slicer…for $269 something! stainless steel…looks durable table top mount. If I were you, go for that one, MM while you are there in US! There’s one that looks like your picture above only household model , I think. The description reads something like “…the original ribbon fries….”

    Sep 24, 2009 | 3:28 am

  36. quiapo says:

    Hate to be a killjoy, but it is worth knowing that for people with glucose intolerance/diabetes, eating potatoes is worse than eating pure sugar(sucrose) due to the higher glycemic index. (Sigh!)

    Sep 24, 2009 | 5:43 am

  37. Hershey says:

    Hi MM, do you think that there is a big difference between russet potatoes and our potatoes here in the Philippines? :D

    Sep 24, 2009 | 9:03 am

  38. Mila says:

    I love eating salt and vinegar potato chips, makes your lips turn white :D

    Sep 24, 2009 | 5:44 pm

  39. ted says:

    Which potato variety is best for chipping?

    Sep 25, 2009 | 1:30 am

  40. betty q. says:

    Hey Ted! …Go and check out this site…www.madehow.com…it describes the origin of potato chips, POTATO to use, oils, the whole process and kaboodle!…very interesting!

    Sep 25, 2009 | 2:41 am

  41. Marketman says:

    ted, I have traditionally relied on russets as being a good potato for frying but I am not a potato expert… Hershey, yes, I find that russets are better for frying than many of the varieties grown in the Philippines… though I am told a version of russets has been tried up in the Benguet area…

    Sep 25, 2009 | 8:33 am

  42. betty q. says:

    MM…check out http://www.akitchen.com…table top model stainless steel ribbon fry or spiral fry cutter for US$189….based in Akron, Ohio!

    Sep 25, 2009 | 8:46 am

  43. Dodi says:

    There is also one such tater stall in Shopwise Cubao where they sell it in combination with fish chips or tempura; you also have a choice between tater chips, french fries or these tater ribbons. And yeah, choices of dips to go with it. I never fail to buy at this stall, yummy!

    Sep 26, 2009 | 5:06 am

  44. Hershey says:

    Thanks for the reply MM :D

    Sep 26, 2009 | 10:12 am

  45. Ram says:

    Where do i get russet potatoes in manila? Went hunting today, only saw white and yellow potatoes!


    Mar 1, 2010 | 3:04 am

  46. Jack Hammer says:

    We used to have this single implement its like a screw with a blade which you poke through a potato or onion or carrot..a you turn the blade round and round till you have gone into a spiral from stem to root. I used to use it when I was a teenager, must be in limbo now… Best guess is I will find it one day in Divisoria.

    And Fcuk it only cost around 20 Pesos.

    When I was there in Manila last Jan/Feb…I think it was Robinsons we bought a potato fried like that for 120 Pesos…what daylight robbery.

    May 21, 2010 | 6:38 pm

  47. jho says:

    Does anybody tell me is russet potato available in philippines?

    Aug 18, 2010 | 7:13 pm


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