National Tater Tot Day
Just about anyone who was born in the United States since the 1950s is familiar with tater tots. These delicious grated potatoes, formed into small cylinders, are packaged frozen and either baked in an oven or deep-fried, and have been a staple of school lunches for millions of kids. That’s probably why an entire holiday has been invented, known as National Tater Tot Day. This day celebrates the humble tater tot and is observed annually on February 2nd.
The History of National Tater Tot Day
This holiday was invented by John-Bryan Hopkins—a food writer from Birmingham, Alabama. He is also the founder of the website Foodimentary, which is a sort of food notebook. He created several food-related holidays, such as Cupcake Lover’s Day, National Oreo Cookie Day, and, of course, National Tater Tot Day.
Of course, no one would have probably known that Hopkins had invented this holiday until he had to own up to creating it in 2012. He took responsibility for the holiday after a reporter from the Dallas Observer contacted Ore-Ida, one of the biggest manufacturers of tater tots in the U.S., about the holiday. The company hadn’t heard of it, so Hopkins had to admit that he created the holiday in 2009.
Fun Facts About Tater Tots
As we researched this holiday, we soon discovered that there is a lot more to these little barrels of potato scraps than we realized. We discovered that they are not only a treat in the U.S. but are loved by people all over the world. Below are just a handful of the fun facts we’ve discovered during our holiday research.
- Tater Tots are known as Tasti-Taters in Canada.
- In New Zealand, they’re known as Hash Bites.
- In Australia, they’re called Potato Gems or Potato Royals.
- Homemade Tater Tots can be difficult to make.
- Tater Tots were invented in 1953 by F. Nephi Grigg and Golden Grigg.
- Tater Tots are a registered trademark of Ore-Ida.
- The first Tater Tots hit stores in 1956.
- Seventy million pounds of Tater Tots are eaten by Americans annually.
Observing National Tater Tot Day
The best way to enjoy National Tater Tot Day is to simply make some Tater Tots for friends and family, or even for yourself. Tater Tots can be added to breakfast burritos, used to make Hot Dish, or covered with chili and cheese. They can also be covered in ketchup or used on kebabs with meat and vegetables. There are a million ways to enjoy this food, so people should definitely give it some thought.
Another way to observe this holiday, or at least spread the word about it, is to use the hashtag #NationalTaterTotDay on all social media accounts. Using this tag with photos of steaming piles of tots can be a great way to let everyone know that you’re enjoying this crispy, tasty potato-based food.