SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Well we are the Salt City, so it was only a matter of time when we looked back on the industry that gave Syracuse its nickname, put the city on the map, and of course, gave us salt potatoes.
The salt came not from underground mines, but salt springs mostly located on the southern end of Onondaga Lake. The brine was pumped from the springs and sent in wooden pipes to the salt sheds and aprons nearby.
The salt was recovered from the brine either by solar evaporation in large shallow trays or boiled in large caldrons.
Salt potatoes trace their origin to the laborers who tended the boiling caldrons filled with brine. The workers, mostly Irish immigrants, would boil their potatoes in the brine for lunch.