Tater Tots, also known as "Tots", a registered trademark for
a commercial form of
hash browns, is a side-dish made from deep-fried, grated
potatoes. Tater Tots are widely recognized by their crispiness, cylindrical
shape and small size.
Left: A close-up of
a plate of Tater Tots.
Tater Tots are commonly found in the U.S. in cafeterias and school
lunch-counters, as well as the supermarket frozen food aisle and some fast food
restaurants. The Burger King fast food
franchise offers a tater tot variant, dubbed "Cheesy tots", as a regular item
available on both its breakfast and lunch/dinner menus. Cheesy Tots are
coin-shaped and, as implied by the name, contain melted cheese as well as
potatoes. Several restaurants in the Pacific Northwest offer a
nacho version of
tots ("totchos"), covered in nacho cheese sauce and toppings.
Tater is slang for potato; Tots may have been derived from
their diminutive size, or because they are often served to children.