A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 18, 2009
Hash Browns (Hash Brown Potatoes; Hashed Brown Potatoes)

"Hash browns” (also called “hashed browns,” “hash brown potatoes” and “hashed brown potatoes") are a popular breakfast dish, served today at fast food restaurants almost everywhere. The term “hashed brown potatoes” was used by food author Maria Parloa (1843-1909) in 1888, “hash brown potatoes” is cited from 1895, “hash browns” is cited from 1911 (part of lunch counter slang), and “hashed browns” is cited from 1920. Hashed brown potatoes was a popular breakfast dish in New York City in the 1890s and was served in the finest hotels.

Hash brown potatoes are diced, mixed with shortening and chopped onions, and then fried to form a browned potato cake.


Wikipedia: Hash Browns
Hash browns or hashed browns are a simple potato preparation in which potato pieces are pan-fried after being shredded, julienned, diced, or riced. In some cultures, hash browns or hashed browns can refer to any of these preparations, while in others it may refer to one specific preparation. In parts of the UK, hash browns can mean fried left over mashed potato. Hash browns are a staple breakfast food at diners in North America, where they are often fried on a large common cooktop or griddle. Often they are pressed with a potato ricer to remove moisture and to give a crispier texture. They are commonly used with burgers or breakfast.

In some parts of the United States, hash browns strictly refer to shredded or riced, pan-fried potatoes, and are considered a breakfast food, while potatoes diced or cubed and pan-fried are also a side dish called country fried potatoes or home fries (though many variations of home fries are par-cooked before frying). Some recipes add diced or chopped onions.

A chef may prepare hash browns by forming riced potatoes into patties before frying (moisture and potato starch can hold them together); however, if a binding agent is added (egg for example), such a preparation constitutes a potato pancake. Frozen hash browns are sometimes made into patty form for ease of handling, the compact flat shape can also be cooked in a toaster oven or toaster. If a dish of hash browned potatoes incorporates chopped meat, leftovers, or other vegetables it is more commonly referred to as hash.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Main Entry: hash browns
Function: noun plural
Date: 1951
: boiled potatoes that have been diced, mixed with chopped onions and shortening, and fried usually until they form a browned cake —called also hash brown potatoes hashed brown potatoes hashed browns

(Oxford English Dictionary)
hash browns chiefly U.S., = hashed brown potatoes s.v. HASHED ppl. a. b; more fully, hash-brown(ed) potatoes
1917 I. C. B. ALLEN Mrs. Allen’s Cook Bk. 400 *Hash Browned Potatoes.
1948 H. L. MENCKEN Amer. Lang. Suppl. II. 388 Of late there has been a strong tendency..to omit the -ed ending… Examples: mash potatoes, hash-brown potatoes, [etc.].
1969 ,i>Drive-In & Carry-Out July 16 (Advt.), Choose either regular or crinkle cut french fries..and shoestring as well as hash browns.
1973 M. DAVIS Potato Bk. 20/1 Fry..uncovered. Turn with a spatula to brown both sides. These are known variously as ‘cottage fries’, ‘home fries’ or ‘hash browned’ potatoes.
1975 J. LEHRER We were Dreamers vii. 109 I had..a whopping serving of Mrs. King’s hash browns.
1979 United States 1980/81 (Penguin Travel Guides) 336 Hash-brown potatoes and salads are specialties.
1986 R. BRANDON Left, Right & Centre xxi. 119 Taggart ordered eggs, bacon and hash browns.

18 January 1888, Hartford (CT) Courant, “The Fourth Parloa Lesson,” pg. 3:
HASHED BROWN POTATOES.

November 1888, Current Literature, pg. 402:
Lunching With A Man. New York World
(...)
Scalloped chicken, with hashed brown potatoes, lobster salad and two chocolate eclairs, were destined to pass before his agonized stomach before a halt was called and the girl with the delicate appetite had proven her lack.

20 September 1890, Weekly Wisconsin (Milwaukee, WI), pg. 2, col. 5:
HASHED BROWN POTATOES.—Chop cold boiled potatoes rather fine. Put sufficient butter in a frying pan to well cover the bottom. As soon as this is very hot cover the bottom of the pan with the chopped potatoes to the depth of one inch, dust with salt and pepper and cook slowly without stirring for about ten minutes, then fold over as you would an omelet and turn them out on a heated dish.

26 October 1890, Syracuse (NY) Herald, “How Bill Nye Observes the First Day of the Week,” pg. 4, col. 5:
“After breakfast, which consists of chops, hashed brown potatoes, muffins and coffee, preceded by cantelope or baked beans, we proceed to quarrel over who shall go to church and who shall remain at home to keep the cattle out of the corn.”

Chronicling America
30 October 1892, Salt Lake Herald (Salt Lake City, UT), “Winter Breakfast; Famous New York Chefs Tell Americans What Constiutes a Perfect Matutinal Repast,” pg. 10, col. 1:
This menu the chef thinks the best and simplest for the average American breakfast:

Oatmeal and milk.
Scrambled eggs.
Broiled kingfish, tartare sauce.
Lamb chops.
Hashed brown potatoes.
English muffins or corn bread.
Coffee.

30 November 1892, Indiana (PA) Progress, pg. 7:
Mrs. Rorer gave her audience a shock the other day while lecturing at the Health and Food Exhibition in New Haven, Conn., by prophesying dire disaster as a result of indulgence in “hashed brown potatoes.” She had visited insane asylums, she said, and found that many of the inmates had been addicted to the use of potatoes fried after being boiled. Ergo, potatoes cooked in this way appear to produce insanity.

12 April 1895, Birmingham (AL) Age-Herald, pg. 8 ad:
MERCHANTS’ LUNCH
at “The Peerless” today 11 a. m. until 1:30 p. m.
(...)
Hash Brown Potatoes.

Google Books
The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book
By Fannie Merrit Farmer
Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company
1896
Pg. 285:
Hashed Brown Potatoes.
Try out fat salt pork cut in small cubes, remove scraps; there should be ab out one-third cup of fat. Add two cups cold boiled potatoes finely chopped, one-eighth teaspoon pepper, and salt if needed. Mix potatoes thoroughly with fat; cook three minutes, stirring constantly; let stand to brown underneath. Fold as an omelet and turn on hot platter.

Google Books
Left Overs
By Mrs. S. T. Rorer (Sarah Tyson Rorer—ed.)
Philadelphia, PA: Arnold & Company
1898
Pg. 49:
Hashed Brown Potatoes
Chop two cold boiled potatoes rather fine, season with salt and pepper. Put a tablespoonful of butter in an ordinary saute-pan; when hot, put in the potatoes, smoothing and patting them down; stand over a moderate fire and allow them to cook undisturbed for at least eight minutes; then with a limber knife fold over one half as you would an omelet; stand again over the fire for about three minutes and turn at once on to a heated dish. These are exceedingly difficult to make. Directions must be carefully followed; the butter must be hot when you put in the potates; the whole must be packed firmly down so that it will not break when turning out.

27 February 1908, Eau Claire (WI) Leader, pg. 5, col. 3:
Menu: Hash Brown Potoatoes,...

3 January 1911, Logansport (IN) Pharos, pg. 8, col. 2:
Not wishing to slight the Elks’ lodge, he then visited that clubroom but found no banquet there, so before going home, he visited a restaurant and isposed of a “short porter house, hash browns and a pair straight up.”

22 March 1920, Oregonian (Portland, OR), pg. 8:
After he had loafed around a day or two in citizen’s togs eating lamb chops at 25 cents per chop and hashed browns and big slices of pie a la mode, Boss McCredie notified him that unless he rustled shoes and got out in uniform that afternoon he could consider himself released.

20 December 1922, Fitchburg (MA) Sentinel, pg. 4:
A spud raiser may be down, but he is never out, apparently, and the epicureans are helping out all they can by intensive orders for hash browns and a la Delmonicos. — Malden News.

January 1929, The Restaurant Manpg. 50, col. 3:
QUICK LUNCHPLACES
HAVE OWN VERNACULAR
(...)
“Hash brown” does not refer to brown hash, but to an order of hashed brown potatoes. Early countermen, never noted for good taste, shouted for hashes as “Clean up the kitchen.” “Home fry” is the way to designate German fried potatoes.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Wednesday, February 18, 2009 • Permalink