Potato salad is a German creation from sometime in the 17th century, shortly after potatoes were introduced to mass agriculture. The first recognizable recipes for potato salad emerge only in the 19th century, with the codification of national cuisines. As Germany was not a unified nation-state until 1871, potato salad retains a highly regional character.
You can divide Germany into roughly four parts depending on which ingredients are used. Southern Germany and the Rhineland use vinaigrette sauces, whereas North Germany uses mayonnaise-based ones. Western Germany favors simple salads, limited to potatoes and a few optional ingredients such as pickles or onion. In contrast, Eastern Germany prefers salads rich with other elements such as eggs, carrots, radishes, and other vegetables.
This salad comes from the region around Fulda, known as Upper Hessen or Oberhessen, and falls into the north and west categories of German potato salads.
Hessian Potato Salad
- 1 kg Firm Potatoes i.e., potatoes that hold up well after boiling
- 1 Large Onion c. 50-100g
- 1 Large Apple
- 100 g of Spiced Pickles
- 100 g Light Mayonnaise
- 100 g Sour Cream
- 1-2 tps Mustard
- Boil the potatoes with the skin until they are almost completely soft, c. 20 minutes.
- Remove the potatoes from the boiling water and rinse with cold water immediately. Then let them cool.
- Optionally, you can now peel the potatoes but then cut them into smallish cubes.
- Peel the apple and cut it into cubes as well.
- Chop the onion and the pickles into small chunks.
- Mix the vegetables together.
- To make the sauce, mix all of the sauce ingredients together. If the sauce is too thick, add some pickling juice until the right consistency is met.
- Now combine everything and mix until the sauce has coated everything.
- Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, then salt and pepper to taste.