Poll: Potato Scallop Or Potato Cake?

Poll: Potato Scallop Or Potato Cake?

If you were on Twitter in 2014, you doubtlessly remember the Great Potato Dialect War that waged across Australia’s state borders for weeks on end. Like most wars, it got ugly, and there were no clear winners on either side.

Now, interstate hostilities have flared up again via a spate of snarky game reviews on JB Hi-Fi. It’s time we put an end to this conflict once and for all…

As we pointed out at the time, the “correct” answer depends on where you live. The term “potato scallop” is primarily used in NSW, Queensland and Western Australia, while “potato cake” is preferred by Victorians and Tasmanians. Just to be different, South Australia goes with “potato fritter”.

It makes sense to use whichever term is most popular in your home state and modify usage while travelling. But what about when you’re trying to talk to all Australians, like we are right now?

We realise we’re never going to solve this debate – at this point, any chance of reconciliation would require the tragic death of a star-crossed lover from either camp, montague and capulet style. However, one thing we can do is officially decide what we will be calling them on Lifehacker from this moment forth.

While based in NSW, Lifehacker is aimed at all Australians – so we’re willing to adopt ‘cake’ or even ‘fritter’ if this is what the majority of readers want. Cast your vote below!

[polldaddy poll=9796154]


  • Cake.

    But in the interests of pleasing everyone all the time, I’d like to suggest “Potato Scaker”.

  • I live in Vic and its potato cake. Never in my life seen a shop use the word scallop for anything other than the fish product. If another state calls it something different who cares? is just fried food. Get over it.

  • It’s obviously a scallop, which comes from the French word escaloper meaning to slice thinly. It’s definitely not a cake.

    • The first meal I enjoyed – after my arrival on these sunny shores over 55years ago – consisted of Fish-n-POTATO SCALLOPS. I still prefer them to chips. These days thou, one has to watch out for – mashed potato in batter – substitutes!

  • As a Victorian, I’d have to go with cake. I understand the argument for scallop in the sense that it could be a French derivation, but it does sound too much like the shell fish. I think the most correct term should be fritter, which is also a French derivation that means fried, and often used to describe cake shaped items.

  • I really don’t care what you call them as long as they are cooked to a love golden colour and have a nice crunch to them, but from what I understand it is a loose term or reference to the way the potatoe is cut/shaped, as in a scalloped potatoe or a scalloped watermelon. (Fritter?? Only crazy people call them fritters??)
    But if this is going to deteriorate into some kind of civil conflict I vote we refer to them with the far more accurate and superior description of ‘Battered potatoe slices’ and move on….

    Note – No I didn’t misspell potatoe.

  • If it is in batter it should be a fritter, as is a banana fritter, apple fritter, zuchinni fritter, vegetable fritters etc;

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