The rosin baked potato, a Southern culinary delight
Who would think of cooking a potato in boiling rosin? The origin and rationale for this interesting cooking behavior is lost in ethno-botanical lore but directions for the practice persisted until recent editions of The Joy of Cooking (Rombauer and Becker 1975). Indeed, the dish can still be obtained at Sweetie Pies Restaurant (Decatur, TX) one day a week. We obtained rosin (Pinerez 1277), produced by Hexion Specialty Chemicals, to duplicate the cooking recipe and to investigate the gustatory effects. The basic recipe involves heating the rosin to 275 0F and carefully lowering the spud into the pot (see Figure 1). The potato initially sinks in the rosin, but after about 45 minutes, floats to the surface (Rombauer and Becker 1975). The potato is simmered a further 30 minutes, removed from the rosin, and wrapped in heavy brown paper with the ends twisted tightly. The rosin baked potato is cooled for 10 minutes and then slit and served with butter, salt, and freshly ground pepper. The cooking process must be done outside and the skin must not be eaten. The cooking in rosin provides a baked potato with an exceptional texture that is distinctively flaky.