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The history of the Tater Tot

 Today's Ore Ida Tater Tots

The Tater Tot held its debutante ball, fittingly, at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. The swooping post-modern structure had itself just debuted in 1954, signaling the country's interest in new forms, new conveniences, new luxuries — all financed with infusions of postwar cash.

The coming-out event wasn't actually a dance in honor of a frozen food, but rather a breakfast at the National Potato Convention being held at the hotel. One attendee — F. Nephi "Neef"Grigg of Ore-Ida Foods in Idaho — had smuggled in a satchel of what would be his greatest invention and bribed the head chef to prepare them.

"They were gobbled up,"Grigg wrote, "faster than a dead cat could wag its tail."

Half a century later, the gobbling of Tater Tots continues unabated — to the tune of more than 3.6 billion annually. Grigg's solution for using up scrap generated from the processing of frozen french fries has become an iconic American food — snack, side dish, object of adoration.

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H.J. Heinz Company, offering "Good Food Every Day"™ is one of the world's leading marketers and producers of healthy, convenient and affordable foods specializing in ketchup, sauces, meals, soups, snacks and infant nutrition.
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