Amish Potato Salad Vs. Classic: What's The Difference?

Potato salad is one of those classic summer side dishes that never seem to go out of style. Crowd-pleasing and almost infinitely customizable, the cookout favorite is sure to please, whether it's a mayo-based creamy dill potato salad, a mustardy green bean potato salad, or a vegan potato salad tossed with olive oil, avocados, and peas.

And those flavors are truly just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potato salad, which is prepared around the world in an almost staggering variety of adaptations: Think of the Korean potato salad topped with grated egg yolks that are often served at Korean BBQ joints, or the French-style potato salad kissed by Champagne vinegar and Dijon mustard.

There are even regional potato salad variations favored by communities across the United States. In the South, potato salad is likely to feature tangy Miracle Whip, sweet pickle relish, and hot sauce (via Food 52); in New England, folks are apt to mix chopped hard-boiled eggs into their potatoes (per Cook with Lars). And did you know that Amish Country — concentrated in the three adjoining states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana (via Amish Outlet Store) — has its own take on potato salad, too?

Amish potato salad has a touch of sweet sugar

If you're a faithful Walmart shopper, you might already know about Amish potato salad. Sold in generous four-pound tubs in the chain store's refrigerated section, the prepared side dish is a popular choice that has inspired quite a few copycat recipes. Judging by the ingredients listed online, the potato salad contains fairly standard ingredients: potatoes, mayo, hard-boiled eggs, celery, mustard, onions, pickle relish, and red bell peppers, among others, so you might be asking: What makes this potato salad Amish?

The answer lies with one ingredient: sugar. Sugar is the third ingredient listed on Walmart's potato salad, meaning the final result is decidedly sweeter than your average potato salad. On an Amish potato salad recipe published on Allrecipes, the recipe contributor, who hails from Pennsylvania Dutch Country, writes that the salad "has a sweet and sour dressing." For just six medium potatoes, the recipe calls for a hefty ¾ cup of white sugar. So if you want to try a sweet version of a fairly classic potato salad, mix up an Amish version at your next cookout.