Pine Resin or Rosin Potatoes
People are fascinated by the idea of cooking a potato in a pot of boiling pine resin. Those who have had potatoes cooked this way say that they are the best potatoes they've ever had. The secret lies in the fact that the boiling resin distributes the heat evenly around the cooking potato.
Forest workers, sawmill employees, and just plain country folk in the South used to tap the numerous pine trees in the region to harvest the pine sap and sell it for making turpentine, among other uses. Somehow, maybe by accident, someone found that a potato cooked in boiling pine resin was exceptionally delicious. They got so popular in the South that hardware stores used to sell a "rosin potato cooker" - a cast iron pot pre-filled with rosin. You just put it over a fire, heated it up until the rosin melted and started boiling, and dropped in your potatoes.
You don't wrap them in paper first - you put the potatoes in boiling pine sap in a cast iron pot and let them cook until they rise to the surface - that's the signal that they're done. Then, with a slotted spoon or tongs or a stick, you carefully lift the hot potato out of the sap and roll it up in butcher's paper or a brown paper bag and twist the ends to keep it hot until it's served.
When you're ready to eat the potato, you cut it lengthwise through the paper and then add butter, salt, pepper, even sour cream and bacon bits if you want. By the way - you don't eat the skin with the resin on it, just the inside.
Simple, huh? Except that you can't go down to your local hardware store and buy rosin cookers or bulk rosin any more.
I have searched the web several times, and the only rosin that I can find for sale is small quantities such as are used by athletes to dry their sweaty hands, and by artists. Of course, rosin is expensive when bought that way. However, there does not appear to be any place at all on the web that sells bulk pine rosin suitable for filling a pot to cook potatoes. You might be able to get it from a turpentine manufacturer. "Resin" and "rosin" are used interchangeably. Just be sure it's pine resin and not something else.
While I was searching, I found a few web sites that seemed to want to confuse pine resin with "pine tar". "Pine tar", according to the dictionary, is distilled pine resin. It's pretty nasty stuff, and I'd think twice before trying to cook potatoes in it. Also, please note that both pine resin and pine tar are highly flammable. Cooking potatoes in resin is not something to be undertaken lightly.
Here's an art supply store that sells it for $3.00 a pound. See:
Douglas & Sturgess
If you find a good source for cheap pine resin, please send it to me so I can post it here.
If you are interested in seeing what a resin pot for cooking potatoes looks like, see: Resin Potato Pot
You mention in your post that if anyone has a link for rosin, send it your way, so I would like to pass on my website link to you
in the event you would like to share my information with those who ask. www.amberpinerosin.com
My information is on my site, but basically, I sell quantities from 1 lb up to 55 lb bags. My prices are competitive with the
current market for the smaller quantities and I have super low shipping rates. I will also be offering the Honduran pine rosin soon.
It has a lower softening point and the bull riders in particular like it due to its increased stickiness.
Brazilian WW Grade Pine Rosin
(coming soon - "Black" super sticky rosin for Bull Riders)
email@example.com or by phone: 559-392-6426
You can also try here for rosin: Rosin Products
News Flash! - You can buy a resin potato kit here: Rosin Potato Starter Kit