While my “British family” was here, we grilled out a couple of nights. One night we had proper French fries, but the second night I hauled out the giant Sam’s Club bag of Tater Tots.
Ben was very taken with them. In that moment the look on his face reminded me so much of his father-in-law (Reg): “How does this stuff work?” He picked one up and carefully examined it before taking a bite. (For those not in the know, they are basically hash-brown potatoes made into little fried balls. Sounds gross, but they aren’t bad. Really.). We ate them so much when I was a kid that I can take ‘em or leave ‘em nowadays.
Anyway, Tater Tots are so much a part of my life that I guess I just assumed we had exported them by now. Apparently not.
The other connection, which I didn’t tell Ben, is that my nickname in high school was “Tater Tot.” There is a reason, but I certainly didn’t look like one! Only one person really ever called me that, so whenever I think of Tater Tots now, I always think of Annie as well.
Aside: Ben also found the concept of chile in a bowl--like soup--to be very cool. I guess chile is usually served over rice in England. Ick. Trust me: ick. We had it for dinner one night. Jean and Reg cooked. They cooked some fresh spinach too--which was delicious--and on their plates, they added that to the chile/rice mixture. Very weird. Sparky wouldn’t even try it; he heated up a leftover burger instead.
Getting back to Tater Tots, I have to wonder why these haven’t been exported as so many other horrible American food-inventions (can we all say Spam??) have been. The Brits love spam. They’re slowly figuring out how to cook burgers, and pizza (although they’ve tended to mess that up, IMHO: e.g. corn? On pizza?). Everyone knows about Coke and Pepsi. But no Tater Tots. Not yet.