Potato Smileys

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Were you even a kid growing up in Britain if potato smileys weren’t the best part of dinner time? This iconic potato snack captured the hearts of all us 90s and 00s babies and brought instant happiness to the kitchen table. We won’t talk about turkey twizzlers though. RIP. Gone but not forgotten x

But let’s get proper nostalgic now and take a trip down memory lane. Picture yourself in the 90s, sitting on a neon inflatable chair, post Tammy Girl shopping spree whilst listening to the Spice Girls (Spiceworld album) on repeat. You’ve just grabbed the Argos catalogue in preparation for your Christmas list and you’re waiting on the call for dinner. And what’s for dinner? POTATO SMILES. Life is good. The 90s may have been a scary 30+ years ago now but our love for potato smileys will always remain strong. 

The food is what I remember most about my childhood. Most specifically cases of Sunny D, Lunchables and obviously the potato based snacks. This is why I had to recreate them, so please enjoy this throwback to the golden age of beige food. To properly reminisce and get the full experience, you ABSOLUTELY must serve these alongside spaghetti hoops, some form of breaded meat and a carton of Um Bongo. Then finish it off with a Jubbly ice lolly or a screwball from the ice cream van. 

 For another throwback, this time back to the 60s/70s, give my duchess potatoes a whirl. 


metric imperial
  • 3-5 white potatoes, peeled and left whole
  • 3-5 maris piper potatoes, peeled and left whole
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 pints vegetable oil, to deep fry
  • 1 ltr vegetable oil, to deep fry


  1. Boil your whole potatoes in cold salted water for around 10-20 minutes until they are tender but not all mushy. They want to just fall off the tip of a knife when poked.
  2. Drain the potatoes and leave to cool.
  3. When cool enough to handle, grate the potatoes. Leaving them whole makes them easier the grate!
  4. In a bowl, mix the grated spuds and the rest of the ingredients. Mix everything until it forms a dough.
  5. Roll out 30g/1oz balls of the potato mix and shape into chunky rounds.
  6. This is the fun part. Use a paper straw or something small and circular to make the eye holes and then a knife to carve the smile.
  7. Place on a lined baking tray and leave in the fridge for an hour. This will help them keep their shape when fried.
  8. Grab a deep saucepan and heat the oil. Make sure you only fill the pan 2/3s of the way up.
  9. Heat to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
  10. Deep fry the potato smileys in batches for around 1-2 minutes until golden and crispy.
  11. Drain on a paper towel to remove any excess oil and then dig in! Be sure to serve with your favourite childhood classics. Let's get nostalgic.