Traditional Potato Salad from 1910

Experience the flavors of the past with this authentic 1910 potato salad recipe.

Potatoes being mashed in a bowl

Most of us consider mayo and mustard as staple ingredients in potato salad recipes. However, can you imagine making potato salad without your favorite go-to condiments? Can you imagine making a mashed potato dish without the help of milk or cream? Yet, that’s exactly what you’ll do if you follow this recipe from the early 20th century.

This traditional mashed potato recipe comes from the California branch of the National Federation of Afro-American Women. The recipes were compiled by their members, and this one came from Mrs. Atchison of Los Angeles. The recipe calls for “a little butter,”—but if you’re anything like me, you may want to double it.

The Federation cook book; a collection of tested recipes, contributed by the colored women of the State of California

About the Cookbook

“The Federation Cook Book” by Bertha L. Turner. Published around 1910.

Potatoes being mashed in a bowl

Traditional Potato Salad Recipe

Serves: For a small family
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 4 large potatoes
  • A little butter
  • 1 teaspoonful salt
  • 1 teaspoonful celery seed
  • 1 tablespoonful sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 small onion chopped very fine
  • Black pepper to suit taste


  1. Pare 4 large potatoes.
  2. Place in hot water and boil until soft.
  3. Remove from water and mash very smooth.
  4. Add a little butter, 1 teaspoonful salt, 1 teaspoonful celery seed, 1 tablespoonful sugar, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 small onion chopped very fine.
  5. Black pepper to suit taste.
  6. Mix thoroughly and place in dish ready to serve.
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