When people are feeling sad, they often turn to comfort foods — sugary or fatty eats that can sometimes provide temporary emotional relief. When a loved one dies, one of the most popular feel-better side dishes in the Midwest is called “funeral potatoes.” The creamy casserole has been recreated by high-profile cooks including “The Pioneer Woman” Ree Drummond, and now Walmart is even selling it in a just-add-water mix. [related]
Apparently many didn’t know the food existed until it started circulating via Facebook in an advertisement for the superstore — and, long story short, people are severely confused.
“Today’s Walmart ad has presented me with “Funeral Potatoes” and a bear trap. I’LL TAKE THEM BOTH!” @sonicdork wrote on Twitter.
“Seriously?? That’s some strange marketing,” @brneyeddut wrote, adding hashtags “funeral,” “potatoes,” and “starchofdeath.”
“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???” @ArtsyCatDesigns said.
“The Midwest has a side called ‘funeral potatoes’ because it’s a blasted hellzone where we openly envy the dead,” @bobservo wrote.
Walmart has responded to concerned customer and voiceover actor A.J. LoCascio, who was wondering why the item was being suggested to him on Facebook.
“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 wrote.
The product is made by Augason Farms, which hails from Salt Lake City, Utah. The brand specializes in emergency meal kits carried by big-name retailers including Walmart, Associated Foods, WinCo, Sam’s Club, and Costco. Not into creepy freeze-dried potatoes of death? Here are a bunch of other casseroles you can make for grieving family and friends instead.