A “loaded” potato is often a baked potato loaded with cheese, bacon bits and sour cream. “Loaded potato skins” have been cited in Los Angeles since 1981; “loaded baked potato” has been cited since 1983.
The restaurant chain TGI Friday’s has served “potato skins” with cheddar and bacon since the late 1970s, but the word “loaded” is not used.
Wikipedia: Baked potato
A baked potato, or jacket potato is the edible result of baking a potato. When well cooked, a baked potato has a fluffy interior and a crispy skin. It may be served with fillings and condiments such as butter, cheese, ham, or chicken.
Some people bake their potatoes and then scoop out the interior, leaving the skin as a shell. The white interior flesh can then be mixed with various other food items such as cheese, butter, cream or bacon bits. This mixture is then spooned back into the skin shells and they are replaced in the oven to warm through. In America these are known variously as loaded potato skins, filled potatoes and twice baked potatoes. In Great Britain the term for this is a jacket potato, and the fillings tend to be more varied than they are in America: baked beans, curried chicken, tuna, and prawn fillings are popular, and in Scotland even haggis is used as a filling for jacket potatoes.
Wikipedia: Potato skins
Potato skins are a snack food or appetizer. They are made of small, flat circular or oval pieces of potatoes with skin on one side and a quarter-inch or so of fleshy potato on the other. The fleshy side is covered with toppings such as bacon, cheddar cheese, and anything else that might be found on a baked potato.
Potato skins are often thought of as being in the same category of foods as buffalo wings, jalapeño poppers, and mozzarella sticks. They are commonly found on the menus of casual dining restaurants such as T.G.I. Friday’s.
Restaurants that serve potato skins often buy the skins from suppliers rather than remove the inner parts of the potatoes themselves.
Google News Archive
12 August 1981, Tri-City Herald (Pasco, Kennewick, Richland, WA), “Chocolate cheesecake also pretty to look at” by Rose Dosti, pg. 8A, cols. 2-3:
(From the Los Angeles Times of July 9, 1981—ed.)
DEAR SOS: The Claim Jumper Restaurant in Laguna Hills, Calif., serves terrific potato skins. Can you get their recipe?—ALICE.
DEAR ALICE: Loaded Potato Skins, a nutritious invention after using the pulp for mashed potatoes, made a hit in our test kitchen, too.
LOADED POTATO SKINS
3 large baking potatoes
Oil for deep frying
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Shredded jack cheese
Crisp bacon bits
Bake the potatoes at 500 degrees 1 hour or until fork tender. Cut potatoes in halves. Scoop out centers of potatoes, leaving a 2-inch shell. Slice each potato half into thirds lengthwise. Deep fry at 400 degrees 1 to 2 minutes or until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Arrange skins on oven-proof serving dish. Top with Cheddar and jack cheeses. Spinkle with bacon bits. Place under broiler and broil untilcheese melts. Serve with sour cream, if desired. Mkes 4 to 6 servings.
Google News Archive
24 March 1983, Pittsburgh (PA) Press, pg. D11, col. 4 ad:
“Those loaded potato skins are great!”
(Brown Derby recipe book—ed.)
7 September 1983, Galveston (TX) Daily News, pg. 9B, col. 1 ad:
Loaded Baked Potato
(Marriott’s Hotel Galvez—ed.)
16 November 1986, New York (NY) Times, pg. CN34 ad:
Brown Thomson’s three convenient locations mean their fabulous food and great entertainment are minutes from your door. The huge menu includes perennial American Express Cardmember favorites: Loaded Potato Skins, Bar-B-Q Ribs and luscious Mud Pie.
Frommer’s budget travel guide, Hawaii ‘92 on $70 a day
by Faye Hammel
New York, NY: Prentice Hall Travel
Appetizers are super, including skewered and charbroiled Thai chicken, potstickers, and “loaded potato skins” — baked potatoes, scooped and fried to a delightful crispness, and slathered with cheese and crumbled bacon, plus a sour-cream dip ($5.95).
Deep South Dish
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Loaded Potato Skins
From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
A 5-pound bag of baking potatoes (Idahos, Russets)
1 (12 ounce) package of bacon
2 cups of grated Cheddar cheese
1 cup of sour cream
4 green onions, sliced
The combination of the dip and the seasoning on the fries was perfect and tasted like the best loaded baked potato I’ve ever had. We will definitely be making this one again.