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Who makes the best funeral potatoes in Utah?

By Mike Headrick  |  Posted Sep 13th, 2012 @ 11:55pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — Hash browns, cheese, onions, creamed soup, topped-off with corn flakes. Or maybe you crush potato chips over your funeral potatoes? Which recipe is really the best? They found out Thursday night at the State Fair.

Maybe you never knew what they were called and maybe you've had them somewhere else by another name.

"I've heard them called cheesy potatoes in other parts of the country," said Jed Christenson with the Utah Dept. of Agriculture. "But here in Utah they're funeral potatoes."

Here in Utah, they are a staple. And no, not just for funerals.

"I don't use them for funerals," said winner Laurie Wilberg, "It's kind of a nice comfort food."

It's a dish that also comes with a long tradition. "People have a lot of different recipes that they've passed down from grandmother, to mother to daughter," Wilberg said.

And it seems every Utah home has their own recipe. Bread crumbs and ham, buttermilk, corn flakes and even tortilla chips. The varieties are nearly endless. But you can always count on the basics: cheese and potatoes.

Three judges plunged in with their forks Thursday night at the fair after the contestants put on their finishing touches. At the end of it all, Wilberg came out on top with the tastiest dish. In addition to a blue ribbon, she also got a $150 gift certificate to Harmon's.

But no matter how it's made or who wins the contest, you can bet this dish is in Utah to stay.

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