Essentially, potato skins are a simple appetizer. They're usually made of potatoes cut in half and filled with bacon, cheddar, and green onions. A fan favorite across America, potato skins are a super-tasty way to begin a great meal!
The history behind potato skin appetizers is an interesting one, although not very long. Unlike mozzarella sticks, for example, which date back to the 14th century, potato jackets actually go back to only the 1970s. Sure, a half century of history isn't short, but when you see how old some of the foods we eat are, potato skin appetizers are a baby! The story goes like this: Sailors used to eat the skins to defend themselves against illness. They've been doing this for quite a while, yet it was only in the 1970s that people picked up on it. The healthy food trend was just starting back then, so restaurants added the dish to their menus to support it. Originally served with just a bit of sour cream and chives, the dish soon evolved. People started adding cheese, bacon, chili, and much more to the dish, gradually bringing it to today's version. Even though tasty, these additions led the dish away from being considered a healthy food. Still, they remained extremely popular, with menus sporting potato skins loaded with toppings to this day.
The most popular variation of this appetizer includes bacon, cheddar cheese, and green onions. The usual potato skins recipe requires for the potato to be baked twice, once without and once with the toppings. However, as we already said, people are prone to experimenting with this dish, so other versions exist too. Some of the most common potato skins recipe variations include:
That's the question, isn't it? After all, the dish did start out as a healthy food alternative. The truth is, potato skins by themselves are super healthy. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fibers, they're easy on the stomach and are nutritive. However, they are also high in carbs, which some people may have an issue with. Potato skin chips are also a great alternative to regular chips when eaten plain or with light toppings. Now, let's talk about potato skins loaded with toppings. The usual bacon, cheddar, and green onion potato skins have about 270 calories. This number can go up or down depending on the toppings you use. For example, the chicken variation will be healthier than the bacon one. It's also better to have baked potato skins instead of fried ones. All in all, if you want a healthier option, go for healthier toppings. In the meantime, here's the nutritional value of regular potato skins: 270 calories with 26g carbs, 14g fats, 11g protein, 1g sugar.
Now that you know everything there is to know about this great dish, we're sure you want to try some. Lucky for you, we have some great restaurant recommendations! The first restaurant we recommend is Filippo's Pizzeria in Baltimore. This great spot serves an amazing potato jacket and tops it off with super fresh ingredients. You can find the potatoes in the appetizer section and get them for pickup, delivery, or in-house dining.
Another great option for those living in Boston is South End Pizza & Grill. These guys have a more diverse potato skin selection. They serve lightly fried potatoes either classically topped or filled with broccoli and cheese.
In Chicago, we'd like to recommend Vito & Angelo's Pizzeria. This creative spot serves a classic variation of the dish as well as some fun alternatives you can choose3 from. Furthermore, you can also have a potato dough pizza here, which is another plus if you're a potato lover!
Finally, we have Pellegrini Pizza in Las Vegas, where they serve this omnipresent appetizer baked to a crisp and classically topped. There are many other places that serve delicious potato skins. You can find all of them on the Slice website and experience the very best cuisine in your city!