What are Funeral Potatoes?

Funeral Potatoes got their odd name from their frequent appearance as a side dish at funeral meals.
Funeral Potatoes got their odd name from their frequent appearance as a side dish at funeral meals.

Funeral potatoes is a traditional dish of potatoes that was common among the people of the Intermountain West region of the United States of America. Funeral potatoes are also commonly known as Mormon funeral potatoes or party potatoes. Many people wonder why such a delicious dish was given a sad name. Well, it is known to most people as funeral potatoes because it was traditionally served as a side dish in after-funeral dinners. Besides funerals, it is also served in social gatherings such as parties, potlucks, and other church gatherings.

Origin of Funeral Potatoes

The origin of funeral potatoes is quite unclear among historians. However, it is highly associated with the Mormon Church. As to how funeral potatoes got to be associated and become part of the Mormon Church is also not well known. Funeral potatoes were always prepared during church gatherings and lunch events. Utah State organizes a funeral potatoes contest whereby participants are required to prepare the potatoes with ingredients that have been grown and produced in Utah. The meal has been a common delicacy in Utah for as long as the residents can remember.

How to Prepare Funeral Potatoes

The ingredients for the preparation of funeral potatoes include hash brown or cubed potatoes, cheese, onions, cream sauce or cream soup of either chicken or mushroom, and butter. During the preparations, one may also include baked ham, frozen peas, or broccoli florets.

There are several methods of preparing funeral potatoes. Most people sauté the onions with 1 tablespoon of butter. They then add the onions to the shredded or cubed potatoes with cheese. Thereafter, cream soup and more cheese is added. Butter with cornflakes is then added as the toppings of the mixture. The mixture is set in the oven that has been set at 350 degrees and baked for about 40 to 50 minutes. The funeral potatoes are considered ready when they appear bubbly in the baking pan.

Funeral potatoes can be prepared in several ways, depending on the ingredients and preference. Other people like it spicy and peppery while others like it less spicy and without pepper. Ingredients and spices may be added according to preference. The choice of the recipe ultimately depends on people’s preferences and the ingredients used.

Why are Funeral Potatoes so Popular?

Apart from the funeral potatoes being delicious when properly cooked, they are not difficult to prepare. The preparation process is not so involving. Furthermore, it is very easy to prepare this dish in large quantities. The ease of preparation, especially in large quantities, has made it become a popular delicacy in events such as funeral dinners, parties, and luncheons. Funeral potatoes can be prepared earlier and frozen prior to the scheduled feasting time, another reason why it is common at events. The variations of the recipes make preferred over certain dishes. One does not need to follow the traditionally known recipe when preparing funeral potatoes, they can try new and exciting recipes or use their cooking prowess to make an extraordinary meal that will leave the crowd wanting more.


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