Tater Tot Day
annually on February 2nd (since 2009)
John-Bryan Hopkins in 2009
Food & Drink
Snacks & Desserts
Tater Tots are a trademarked name by Ore-Ida, which is now distributed by the H.J. Heinz Company. The name "tater tots" is also generically applied to any similar brands of potato products. "Tater" is an abbreviation for potato, and "tots" refers to their small size. In some places they are simply called "tots."
Tater Tots were invented in 1953, by Ore-Ida founders F. Nephi Grigg and Gold Grigg, who were trying to find something to do with leftover potato pieces. They chopped them up and added flour and seasoning, and then pushed them through an extruder and cut them to create the size we know today. They began selling them in stores in 1956. Originally Tater Tots were sold at a low price, but people were not paying attention to them. When the price was raised a bit people started buying.
Tater tots are one of the most popular side dishes at school lunch counters and cafeterias in the United States. They are sold in the frozen section at grocery stores, and at some fast food restaurants. Some restaurants top them with cheese or chili, and cheese is sometimes even put inside of them. Some also offer a nachos version called totchos, and some Mexican restaurants offer seasoned tater tots. One of the most popular homemade tater tot recipes is tater tot casserole or hotdish. Seventy million pounds of tater tots are sold in the United States each year.