Everyone remembers the game hot potato from when you were a kid. It would involve passing an object around a circle or amongst a group of friends as quickly as possible. As soon as you caught the ball or bean bag or whatever it was that was being used as the “hot potato” you would throw it away towards one of your friends as fast as it came to you. You were trying to limit your contact time with this object as if it were actually a “hot potato” that could burn your hands. This was just a game that was based on the idea of a hot potato but the true hot potato has to be the “Baked Potato”; one of the most popular, if not the most popular, potato dishes ever created by man. As with all potato dishes its simplicity seems too easy to be true and yet it’s genius is also wrapped up in the simplicity of it. Potato dishes always seem so easy to make and yet they also always seem to taste so good. The baked potato is the ultimate hot potato dish.

Baked potatoes, also sometimes called jacket potatoes, are the edible outcome of simply baking a potato. Usually these potatoes are baked in microwave or oven. Potatoes are one of the few foods that can be cooked in a microwave and, when covered, they end up losing barely any of the healthy nutrients trapped inside them. Baked potatoes are also sometimes cooked on a grill such as a barbeque or over or amongst an open fire such as a camp fire. You can actually wrap a potato in tin foil and spread it amongst the hot coals of a fire to be cooked. Because of the easy availability of potatoes, the ease of preparation in regards to cooking a baked potato, and the fact that this potato dish, like most potato dishes, is quite filling, the “Baked Potato” is extremely popular throughout most of the world.

When it comes to preparing one of these delicious treats the recommended oven temperature is 350 degrees F. As for the age old question of whether or not to wrap your baked potato in aluminium foil, the answer depends on whether or not you prefer to retain as much moisture in your potato, as the foil allows, or if you prefer a crispier version of your potato, which happens if you leave it uncovered. No matter how you cook it remember that your potato is only fully cooked when it reaches a temperature of 210 degrees F. After a potato is finished being baked people eat it usually one of two ways. By either removing the skin and eating only the softer, moister potato core. While the rest enjoy the taste and texture of the crispy or non-crispy skin, depending on how it was cooked.

When you think of baked potatoes it is not so much the “hot potato” that gets mouth salivating and taste buds jumping but rather it is the other aspects, the spices and creams, which are added to the potato to make it a true baked potato and to heighten ones eating experience. Common ingredients added to a baked potato include sour cream and chives, mushrooms, cheese, butter, bacon bits and even some times beans. Also, like with most potato dishes, salt is often added to complete the taste mastery that makes up a baked potato. All of these extra ingredients are what really make the baked potato so popular and they are also what make it taste so good. I can just picture the creams and spices floating on top of ones baked potato just like gravy over mashed. Um, m, mmmmmm potato goodness!

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