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Walmart’s funeral potatoes are confusing everyone on the internet

Faith & Family

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SALT LAKE CITY — Love them or hate them, funeral potatoes are a staple in Utah, Idaho and Mormon kitchens, but the rest of the internet just discovered this creepy-sounding dish.

Walmart ads on Facebook have recently been featuring Salt Lake-based Augason Farms’ dehydrated funeral potatoes and the name is apparently disturbing to out-of-staters.

The circulating ads spurred a #funeralpotatoes trend on Twitter and it garnered enough attention to warrant explainer pieces from Today.com, the New York Post and Fox News.

The only people not confused? Mormons, Utahns and Idahoans, according to KSL.com.

They may sound threatening, but the story behind the name isn’t quite that scary — funeral potatoes are often served at post-funeral gatherings in Utah. The quick and cheaply-made casserole can feed a lot of people with just a few ingredients and is easy to freeze. No one has tracked down the exact origin, but recipes for “Funeral Potatoes” first surfaced in LDS Relief Society cookbooks in the early 1900s, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Funeral potatoes are popular enough to have their own recipe contest category at the Utah State Fair and were even featured as a pin for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

KSL TV reporter Nicole Vowell, who grew up in Kentucky, was also confused when she first heard the term after moving to Utah.

“I thought it was a bit morbid to associate delicious spuds with funerals,” she said. “Potatoes should be celebrated, not mourned!”

Vowell quickly learned they were a traditional dish served after funerals in Utah and Idaho and she “100 percent” recommends them.

“I have had them back home, we just call it hashbrown casserole,” Vowell said. “I think everyone has had ‘funeral potatoes,’ they just don’t know it.”

While KSL.com employees cannot vouch for the dehydrated version, we can recommend the beauty and simplicity of combining a cream-based soup, hash browns, butter, onions and shredded cheese with a crunchy topping. This is to-die-for when you’re in the mood for comfort food and recipes can be found all over the internet.

The name might be a little weird, but it’s probably here to stay. Have you tried funeral potatoes before? Share your favorite recipe in the comments below!

This article was originally published by KSL.com. It is used here with permission.

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