What is it?
Swabian potato salad is marinated while the potatoes are still warm, this allows to soak up the dressing better.
Southern Germans would never dream of adding mayonnaise or yogurt to their potato salad.
“How is it called in German?
“Kartoffel” is the German name for “potato” and “Salat” means “salad”.
Southern Germany - Swabia
Swabia is a region in Southern Germany, in the state of Baden-Würrtemberg. The state where Mercedes Benz and Porsche have their headquarters.
Cultural Background Story
The preparation of the Swabian potato salad is considered a type of holy matter by the Swabians. It is told that brides would have to serve this salad to their future in laws before the wedding. This test would decide whether the bride would be considered worthy by the mother in law to marry her son.
The actual “inventor” of the potato salad is still a mystery. Apparently, the oldest recipe in German originates from an Austrian monetary from the year 1621.
Swabian Potato Salad
Southern German potato salads are the only potato salad recipes in Germany with an oil & vinegar dressing.
In all other areas of Germany, you will find potato salad recipes that include creamy mayonnaise and yogurt dressings. Often these recipes will also include special ingredients, for example gherkins, radishes, eggs and apples. You can also find variations that add fish, ham and meat bits.
Best Potatoes for German Potato Salads
Because of their waxy texture, yellow and red potatoes stay firm throughout cooking. They are your best choice to make tender yet firm potato salad.
Major varieties: Yukon Gold, Yellow Finn, Agata, Santina and Bintje
Major varieties: Chieftain, Norland, Red La Soda, Pontiac and Ruby
- 5 pounds waxy potatoes i.e. Yukon Gold, Carola etc.
- 1 medium sized onion
- 2 tsp. mustard
- 1 cup beef or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 5 tbsp. neutral vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste, I prefer:
- 1 tbsp. coarse Kosher salt
- 1 tsp. coarse pepper
- Place whole, unpeeled potatoes in a large pot.
- Cover with cold water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer the potatoes until they are just barely fork tender.
- Drain the potatoes and let them cool slightly.
- In the meantime, bring the broth to a boil and chop the onion finely.
- Add the onion cubes, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and sugar to the broth.
- Remove from the heat and mix all ingredients well.
- Peel the hand warm potatoes and cut them into slices.
- Carefully place them into a large bowl and add the hot broth mixture.
- Do NOT stir, cover and allow to rest for about 1 hour. The potatoes will absorb most of the liquid.
- Add the oil and carefully mix, salt and pepper again to taste if necessary.
- erve immediately or refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Allow the potato salad to come to room temperature before serving. This will take about 30 minutes to one hour.
The Swabian potato salad tastes best when luke warm. But it doesn’t do it any harm to let it seep covered for a day at room temperature. It should never be served directly from the fridge.
For a variation add finely cut, fresh cucumber slices.