My grandma made the most delicious Polish potato pancakes I’ve ever tasted. They were crispy-skinned fresh off the pan, yet very soft and delicate inside. Customary to how potato pancakes are made in Poland and the Ukraine, my grandma never shredded potatoes, she always grated them as finely as possible. That’s what gives Polish potato pancakes their peculiar delicate texture. Yes, it’s more work but, undoubtedly, well worth the extra effort.
One thing that my grandma did differently from most other recipes that I’ve seen is that she would always add a carrot to the recipe, which would give her potato pancakes better color which would stay for a long time. This little secret makes a huge difference. Do you remember the last time you made potato pancakes? Do you recall them turning grey soon after they came off the hot skillet? And the longer they stayed on the serving plate the darker they became? Potatoes oxidize and acquire an unappealing grey color. Carrots’ red-orange pigment hides potato oxidation, keeping potato pancakes wonderfully golden brown and colorful for a long time.