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Spud Sunday: Praties And Dip

It’s safe to say that my father knows a lot about potatoes. He has lived long enough to remember an Ireland where most people grew their own and where the potato really was still a hugely dominant part of the rural diet. “Praties and dip”, he tells me, was a style of eating potatoes still prevalent when he was a boy growing up in Kerry. And no, it’s not remotely like anything you might be imagining right now. Banish whatever images of chipped potatoes and sour-creamy dip have come to mind. Instead, picture yourself with some boiled potatoes, a bowl of milk and a bowl of salt. Take the warm spud, dip it in the milk, then dip it in the salt and eat. Et voilà, there you have praties and dip.

Frankly, I’m not likely to start eating spuds this way (except, at a push, when I have some freshly dug new potatoes on my hands). Yesterday, however, when I found my cupboards devoid of crackers, I was inspired to try my hand at using potato to make something crackeresque in nature, and just right for dipping. A little homage to “praties and dip” as it were. Though mainly I just wanted some crackers to feed my cheese ‘n’ crackers addiction.

The idea was a decent enough one. However, I had never attempted to make anything that you might describe as a cracker before and here I was, going to wing it first time out. I took some flour, rubbed in some butter, stirred in grated parmesan and chives, combined into a dough with some mashed potato and milk. I chilled it. I rolled it out thinly, cut out the crackers, whacked them in the oven until they were golden…

Potato crackers

They sure do look the part

…but they weren’t what I would call killer crackers. A little bit too much chew where the rolling of the dough wasn’t super-thin and a little bit overdone where it was. Now, don’t get me wrong. They weren’t bad and I’ve eaten quite a lot of them already (they are parmesan-cheesy after all) but suffice to say that the formula is not ready for the big time just yet. Indeed, the inclusion of potatoes in the dough might be at odds with the requirement for ultimate cracker crispiness. Hmmm. The search for Spud’s perfect cracker will continue.


  1. GrilledShane

    I must say, when I originally saw the title, I read it as “Pirates and Dip.” It wasn’t until I started reading did I realize it was praties. Whoops!

    I am sorry that they didn’t turn out as well as you had hoped, but I always appreciate your informing posts. Thanks!

  2. Tangled Noodle

    They do look amazing and very cracker-ish! I’d be content with these but the search for perfection is a worthy goal. Question: what is the origin/meaning of ‘pratie’? (While you’re at it, what’s the origin of the word ‘butty’, as well?) I want to sound like a local the next time I visit Ireland and ask for a ‘chip butty’! 8-)

  3. Lori

    They do look very nice. If you wouldn’t have told us their faults we would have been none the wiser. :)I am on a mission to perfect a whole grain based cracker. I really want something for dipping and spreading that doesn’t come out of a box.

  4. Daily Spud

    GrilledShane: thanks for reading as always and for giving me a good laugh with the notion of “Pirates and Dip” – I think that would have been a different post entirely, arrr! :)

    Tangled Noodle: I do find myself unable to stop eating them, even if they’re not the ultimate cracker – you can be sure I will make a renewed assault on these in due course and report my progress :) As for the etymology questions, the word pratie is an anglicisation of the Irish word for potatoes, prátaí, pronounced PRAW-tee, while butty, which is English in origin rather than Irish, I have always assumed derives from the critical inclusion of butter in the sandwich.

    Lori: given that I almost always have crackers of some description in the house, it makes sense to see if I can make some rather than always buying them in; I’ll be keeping an eye out for your progress with a whole grain version!

  5. Heather

    good luck in your continued search :D i like the idea of a potato cracker. potatoes have made so many other things better – breads, buns, cakes, pancakes – why not crackers?! ;)

  6. OysterCulture

    They may not have met your exacting standards, but from where I’m sitting they look just fine. Any potato cheese combination I find hard to beat. Ah, the quest for perfection with this sort of food has got to be difficult, knowing that another batch is just around the corner. =) Yum!

  7. Daily Spud

    Heather: my thoughts exactly :)

    OysterCulture: it’s a dirty job but hey, somebody’s got to do it!

  8. manuel

    desk up later……yippee……

  9. noble pig

    I have never made crackers…sorry you didn’t like the results but keep, keepin’ on.

  10. Reeni

    They look perfect! I like the flavor. I’ve never made a cracker before… I’ll have to try them out when your perfect them. Good luck with your quest.

  11. Holly

    They look great. I have had good luck with Martha Stewart’s recipe in her Hors d’oeuvres Handbook.

  12. Jenni

    Good for you for giving the crackers the old college try. Sounds like w/a bit of tweaking you’ll have them down. I’ve always heard to add a bit of soda to crackers; not sure how it plays w/spuds, though.

    My first thought was, “If your dad eats this dip thing, I want no part of it. Eventually, out will come the Diet 7-Up and then the Gig will be Up!” But spuds dipped in salt sound tasty. How about spuds dipped in vinegar or lemon juice and then in smoked salt?! Oh, the possibilities.

    And good luck w/the cheese and cracker addiction; admitting you have a problem is Always the First Step! :D

  13. Joanna

    LORI: I recently tried Smitten Kitchen’s spelt cracker recipe – with great success. So simple – and satisfying to make something for pennies that might’ve set me back 4 or 5 bucks at the store. I substituted whole wheat spelt flour for the white spelt flour and they came out great.

  14. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie

    Your crackers look wonderful and I bet that they are very good! I can totally relate to the quest for perfection of course. I can’t wait to see the ultimate recipe.

  15. The Other Tiger

    Crackers are a little tricky to make. These look great, though! :-)

  16. jenn

    They look lovely. Plus, that means you get to make more. =)

    The beauty of creating delish food.

  17. Sapuche

    I hope you don’t give up on your first experiment, because they sound absolutely delicious and your photos of them are brilliant. Did these impress your father at all? Good luck in your cracker quest!

  18. Mary Bakes

    These look great!

  19. Reluctant Gourmet

    Those crackers look really good, even if they didn’t turn out perfect.

  20. The Diva on a Diet

    I can see what you mean by the textural thing here … but my word those crackers look stunning! Just absolutely gorgeous, Spud! I will happily await your further exploration. :)

  21. Jesse

    For something that isn’t quite perfect as yet… they really do look scrumptious!

  22. Daily Spud

    manuel: yay!

    noble pig: they weren’t bad, but I will indeed keep on trying and report my progress…

    Reeni: thanks! the cheesey flavour was good, just needs a better cracker formula :)

    Holly: thanks for the Martha Stewart tip off, I’ll see if I can find that

    Jenni: is there a 12-step cheese ‘n’ cracker program I wonder? I’d be all for that if there was a perfect cracker waiting for me at the end of it all :)

    Joanna: welcome along :) I think I’ll be checking out that spelt cracker recipe, thanks!

    Natasha: yep, not a bad first attempt and can only get better with time methinks :)

    Other Tiger: they do, don’t they!

    jenn: welcome, thanks for dropping in! I couldn’t agree more that the fact that I get to make even more (and even better) crackers is definitely a good thing :)

    Sapuche: thanks! Dad wasn’t around for these as I was making them in my own house, but I’m not sure if they’d be quite his style…

    Mary Bakes: thanks :)

    Reluctant Gourmet: welcome and thanks, you’re most kind!

    Diva: why thank you ma’am! I will report further experiments in due course.

    Jesse: thanks, and I’m still scoffing them today, so they really ain’t that bad at all…

  23. The Duo Dishes

    They do look really great! Honestly, they look perfect. :) When you get it just right to your standards, we’re sure they will be irresistible.

  24. kickpleat

    Well they really do look delicious. I look forward to the perfect cracker!

  25. Berna

    I’m still laughing at the Pirates and Dip! Or should that be Pirates and Depp. Wonderful mind pictures!

  26. Stacey

    I bet they would be good with some butter on them! My weakness, butter on freshly made crackers.

  27. Sophie

    MMM..They do look so yummie,….I look forward to your perfect cracker!!

  28. ChefBliss

    They look really good, despite how they may have turned out. I think you are on to something though and i can’t wait to see further attempts!! :)

  29. Daily Spud

    Duo Dishes: yep, I’m aiming for irresistable :)

    kickpleat: thanks, I’m looking forward to it too!

    Berna: brilliant! meanwhile, I’m wondering just who should play Cap’n Spud in Praties of the Carribean…

    Stacey: oh yes, butter on crackers, absolutely love that

    Sophie: as do I :)

    Chef Bliss: I’ll keep trying for sure!

  30. laura

    They look amazing. I have long harbored a desire to make all our crackers, but am stymied by the time-commitment for rolling/cutting plus not having the perfect recipe. I hope you’ll keep at it and like ChefBliss look forward to future attempts :)

  31. zerrin

    These are so similar to a kind of savory pastry, which is so popular here. They may not be what you want but I can guess they are definitely fantastic snacks.

    BTW thank you for the etymology information you gave in the commonet as I couldn’t find the meaning of pratie.

  32. Joie de vivre

    I think I’ll pass on the praties and dip, but I do find the culinary history of it very interesting.

  33. Selba

    Wow… never crossed my mind to bake crackers because I always buy it.

  34. Daily Spud

    laura: it’s one of those things that I buy a lot, so I’ll be happy if I can come up with a reliable cracker formula, even if it does involve a lot of rolling and cutting :)

    zerrin: yep, these were definitely like a savoury pastry (I hope you’ll be sharing a recipe for those savoury pastries sometime…)

    Joie de Vivre: I know how you feel :)

    Selba: actually, same here (until now, that is!)

  35. Will

    This definitely seems like a keeper of a recipe once you perfect it. These kinds of snacks go quickly in my house. Like, probably a few hours.


  36. Daily Spud

    Yeah, see I’d munch my way pretty quickly through these too. If the recipe got better, they’d be truly dangerous :)

  37. Chef E

    I am sorry, no matter what you say these look damn good and I would have gone through them very very quickly with no crumbs to be found! Like the history from pop!

  38. Daily Spud

    Indeed, Chef E. Shall I just say that I did make a lot of these crackers and now there are precisely none of them left… :)

  39. gaga

    Aww, I’m sorry you thought they were too chewy. They look terrific though!

  40. Daily Spud

    Some were a bit too chewy Gaga, but still tasty enough to munch, which I had no problem doing :)

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