Sour Salty Punch

August 3, 2009


Growing up in Seattle, we made frequent trips to Victoria, B.C.  I went with my family, I went with friends, and I went on school trips.  Victoria is a magical small city on Vancouver Island (just to be confusing, the city of Vancouver is not on Vancouver Island).  If you look at a map, Victoria is very close to Seattle.  Because of geography however, it can take a very long time to get there.  These days you can take a hydrofoil that leaves from the piers in downtown Seattle, and deposits you in Victoria’s harbor in about 2 hours.  But it has taken me as long as 7 hours to get there.

In true food lover fashion, trips to Victoria first and foremost meant MacIntoshes Toffee.  This incredibly buttery and almost impossibly sticky confection was best eaten after throwing it to the ground (while still in it’s box) repeatedly until it broke into small enough shards that wouldn’t pull the fillings out of your teeth.  I would buy several boxes each trip and then mourn when I had finished them off.  I would also always use up the last of my Canadian money on all the Cadbury candies that we don’t carry in this country.  And I would buy lots and lots of salt and vinegar chips.

These days, salt and vinegar chips are easy to find but back then, you had to head north to Canada or way East to England.  It took me a while to warm up to these puckery treats but once I did, they became my favorite chip (and that is saying something because I love me some chips.)

When I saw this recipe, it sounded like heaven on a plate.  A cross between a salt and vinegar chip, a french fry, and a grilled potato – who wouldn’t want that?  Here is the question though: would you think less of me if I told you I stole this recipe?  I was in a waiting room recently.  A waiting room that had practically current issues of Martha Stewart Living.  If you frequent waiting rooms, and I hope you don’t, you know that having magazines you actually want to read that are from the year in which we are currently living…it’s almost unheard of.  And how do I repay these people for their read-able and almost current magazines?  I steal a page.  But these are potatoes I had to have.

After eating a huge portion of them last night, I can tell you a couple of things.  They are really vinegar-y.  I think the next time I make them I will boil them in 3/4 parts vinegar and 1/4 part water instead of all vinegar as the recipe tells you to do.  Also, they need a lot of salt to balance the flavors.  I tossed the cooked slices with a healthy dose of salt and then sprinkled a bit, and then a bit more, and even more still on the end product.  I used a fancy finishing salt someone got me as a gift, but sea salt would have been just fine.

Usually the recipes I put up here are things I think would appeal to just about anybody.  These may be more of an acquired taste.  But if you love that sour-salty thing, give them a try.  Oh, and because I was shooting the photos of these outside with my boys, they insisted I take photos of their “treat” as well.  My youngest calls them “pocco pocco pocco”.


Grilled Potato Slices with Salt and Vinegar
Martha Stewart Living
Serves 4

1 pound potatoes, preferably fingerling, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 cups white vinegar
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. coarse salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1.  Bring potatoes and vinegar to a boil in a medium saucepan (vinegar should cover potatoes).  Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer potatoes until just fork tender, about 5 minutes.  Let potatoes cool in vinegar for 40 minutes.  Drain well, and gently toss with oil, salt, and pepper.

2.  Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Grill potatoes in a single layer until browned on both sides and cook through, about 5 minutes per side.  Sprinkle with salt before serving.


  1. My husband loves salt and vinegar chips so I am sure he will love these!

    Comment by Maria — August 3, 2009 @ 3:31 pm

  2. I think I’ve fallen in love with the idea…& am I glad you posted these. I have 2 bottles of vinegar crying to be used. I love the salty sour flavour & also love the way these have been done. Great new potato way…thanks a million!

    Comment by deeba — August 3, 2009 @ 3:55 pm

  3. Being from Canada I can truly appreciate this post. Salt and vinegar is one of my favorite childhood memories.. chip flavors, on vegetables and lets not forget french fries!! salty hot fries with vinegar drizzled over.
    This is a great recipe, thanks so much for sharing :)

    Comment by Jen @ MaplenCornbread — August 3, 2009 @ 4:37 pm

  4. I love salt and vinegar. I mean I almost always have a dipping dish of vinegar whenever I eat. Sounds like a great treat!

    Comment by veron — August 3, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

  5. Perfect, I was planning on making a pizza with grilled potatos this weekend, so this will be great guide recipe. I’ll boil them in mostly water though I think, since its for a pizza with other items.

    Comment by Julie — August 3, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

  6. This definitely appeals to me. Salty, vinegary, grilled potato slices sounds perfect!

    Comment by lisaiscooking — August 3, 2009 @ 8:37 pm

  7. I remember reading that vinegar makes potatoes crispy. This recipe sounds great to me – I actually like to dip store bought potato chips or fries in vinegar…especially malt vinegar :)

    Love the pocco pocco picture!

    Comment by veggiebelly — August 3, 2009 @ 11:01 pm

  8. I love vinegar and salt together and these grilled potatoes slices look yummy!

    Comment by Karine — August 4, 2009 @ 3:02 am

  9. Really? You didn’t have salt and vinegar chips there when you were a kid? Who knew!

    I love salt and vinegar chips (well, crisps here). Really, I love anything with a healthy dose of vinegar. I will be making these!

    Comment by Hilary — August 4, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

  10. Being from Vancouver Island I love going to Victoria. First time I hear about MacIntoshes Toffee. But we love our salt and vinegar chips here. Growing up I sometimes had to put vinegar on BBQ chips if there was not salt and vinegar chips around. And we love our caramilk & crunchies that you can’t get in the States.

    Those potatoes looks great. I often do take a recipe page in magazines when I’m in a waiting room. Don’t feel bad :) We are real foodies.

    Comment by Hélène — August 4, 2009 @ 4:33 pm

  11. It all looks good to me. I just want to know what kind of “fancy finishing salt” you used!

    Comment by Mark Bitterman — August 4, 2009 @ 5:28 pm

  12. I know I should be commenting about the recipe at hand, but I have to tell you, I have those plates (blue plate, top photo)—love their casual elegance!

    (Always enjoy your Tweets, so nice to finally visit your blog!)

    Comment by Sandie — August 4, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

  13. My mouth is puckering up just thinking of these- yum!

    Comment by fresh365 — August 4, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

  14. I love salt & vinegar chips and I remember seeing a recipe for this a while ago and then forgot about it. I’m going to bookmark this so I don’t forget. Yum.

    Comment by kickpleat — August 5, 2009 @ 5:13 am

  15. I’m with Mark in wanting to know what salt you use. And wouldn’t you know it, we now prefer to call popscicles Pocco-Pocco-Pocco’s, too, thanks to your youngest. So cute!

    Comment by Deb — August 7, 2009 @ 10:59 pm

  16. I loooove Victoria. It’s my favourite city. I got to spend a lot of time there as I was growing up because both sets of grandparents lived there. These potato slices sound really intriguing! I’ve never thought of doing such a thing with potatoes.

    Comment by Ashley — August 9, 2009 @ 5:03 pm

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