Ontario, Oregon—Birthplace of the Tater Tot—Is Hosting a Tot Fest

bhofack2/iStock via Getty Images
bhofack2/iStock via Getty Images

The simple tater tot is so ubiquitous that it's hard to imagine a time when it wasn't a diner menu staple. But the seemingly divine existence of crunchy, golden-brown nuggets of grated potato was actually the invention of two men from Ontario, Oregon. Now, the Malheur Enterprise reports that the birthplace of the tater tot will host a festival in the starchy side dish's honor.

Brothers Nephi and Golden Grigg invented the tater tot shortly after founding the frozen food processing company Ore-Ida in 1952. The idea was born out of resourcefulness: Making French fries left them with a lot of leftover potato scraps, and instead of throwing them out, they decided to chop them up, season them, and mold them into bite-sized pieces. After consulting a thesaurus, they dubbed their creation the tater tot.

Four years after going public in 1961, Ore-Ida was purchased by Heinz, and today tater tots rank right up there with potato chips and French fries on the list of beloved fried potato products. In celebration of the tiny snack's huge impact, the organization Revitalize Ontario is putting together a tater tot festival for 2020.

The event will feature games, food vendors, and a Ferris wheel, plus a few special carnival attractions that are specific to the starring foodstuff. Guests will get to watch a tater tot-eating contest and a tater tot-themed play written by local children. Before the fair ends, a tater tot festival king and queen will be crowned.

The festival will be officially announced at the Malheur County Fair in August. The city of Ontario recently awarded a $3800 grant to the event to be used for marketing materials, including T-shirts and 10,000 pencils with the tater tot festival logo.

[h/t Malheur Enterprise]

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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A Short, Sweet History of Candy Corn

Love it or hate it, candy corn is here to stay.
Love it or hate it, candy corn is here to stay.
Evan-Amos, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Depending on which survey you happen to be looking at, candy corn is either the best or the worst Halloween candy ever created. If that proves anything, it’s that the tricolor treat is extremely polarizing. But whether you consider candy corn a confectionery abomination or the sweetest part of the spooky season, you can’t deny that it’s an integral part of the holiday—and it’s been around for nearly 150 years.

On this episode of Food History, Mental Floss’s Justin Dodd is tracing candy corn’s long, storied existence all the way back to the 1880s, when confectioner George Renninger started molding buttercream into different shapes—including corn kernels, which he tossed at actual chickens to see if it would fool them. His white-, orange-, and yellow-striped snack eventually caught the attention of Goelitz Confectionery Company (now Jelly Belly), which started mass-producing what was then sometimes called “chicken feed” rather than “candy corn.”

But what exactly is candy corn? Why do we associate it with Halloween? And will it ever disappear? Find answers to these questions and more in the video below.

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