The Internet is losing its mind over something Walmart is dubbing “funeral potatoes,” thanks to an online ad that’s been popping up on people’s newsfeeds. Twitter user Jason Gore couldn’t contain himself when he saw it, and immediately tweeted a screenshot:
“Today’s Walmart ad has presented me with ‘Funeral Potatoes’ and a bear trap,” he tweeted. “I’LL TAKE THEM BOTH!”
Rest assured, I think I can explain. You see, I’m a Texas girl, so casseroles are kind of my thing — or at least they were a normal part of life growing up. The cheesier and saucier the better, if you ask me!
But, not too long after moving to Utah in my 20s for college, I learned that cheesy hashbrown casserole was not actually called “cheesy hashbrown casserole” anymore. No, they were called funeral potatoes. And, around Utah, that makes perfect sense.
You see, a common practice in the LDS (Mormon) community is to have church members serve a luncheon to grieving family members after the funeral is over. The members in charge of these luncheons often have to figure out how to quickly and easily feed large groups of people. And, well — they just came from a funeral, so it’s safe to say they need to feed large groups of sad people.
So, enter funeral potatoes. You will find them at many, MANY LDS funerals as a common dish. Mostly because they are easy to make, easy to freeze, and yes – they are the perfect comfort food. So, around here, it makes perfect since that a company named Augason Farms out of Salt Lake City, Utah would want to make an even easier version and sell it at Walmart.
Now, Walmart probably just seized an opportunity they saw to run with a delicious, yummy product, but their customers in other parts of the country who are not familiar with funeral potatoes think the name sounds a bit ominous.
And, people are losing their minds over it on Twitter. For instance, one Twitter user wasn’t just freaked out over the name, but also couldn’t get over the pun in the description.
“Is it just me, or does anyone else find the name of this potato casserole disturbing? The back side says ‘potatoes to die for’ — now that’s kinda funny???” she tweeted.
Now, I admit that the dark humor on the back of the potatoes might be a little much — and confusing if you don’t know what funeral potatoes are — but being part of Utah culture for a few years now myself, I think it’s pretty clever.
But, I guess it was still alarming to another user, who tweeted at Walmart and actually got a response!
“Funeral potatoes are a gorgeously rich and cheesy hash brown casserole. They got the name because the casserole was commonly served at after-funeral dinners,” Walmart explained.
Indeed, it seems like Walmart knows exactly what they are selling: A perfectly yummy and delicious food that you’ll probably love because, a) cheese, and b) potatoes (even if you’re not going to a funeral).
Now, while I can’t attest that this frozen version is as good as the real deal, I can say that I don’t really give a second thought to what they’re called, because they’re one of my favorite comfort foods.
One person made me laugh when I read her tweet about serving them at Easter dinner.
“Not gonna lie, I made funeral potatoes for our Easter dinner. But, I called them cheesy potatoes because Christ is risen…” she tweeted.
It does seem kind of ironic, now that I think about it. But, my family just had “funeral potatoes” at our Easter family dinner, too. And, they were delicious as always. And, by the way, they go perfect with ham and a dinner roll, too.