The Fried Gem that is a Hotty Toddy Ball

Photo: Tripadvisor.com

The small town of Oxford, MS is known to many for a variety of things: Ole Miss, shopping, music, and of course food. Down North Lamar Boulevard, past all of the beautiful Victorian-style homes, one can find an old gas station turned into one of Oxford’s favorite eateries, Volta Taverna. And inside of this Greek goddess of goodness is hidden a fried gem, that probably isn’t Greek at all: Hotty Toddy Balls.

The third item on the menu under appetizers — even though it should be the first — the description is as follows: fried garlic mashed potatoes mixed with bacon and mozzarella. Yes, these are fried balls of mashed potato cheesy goodness, or heaven, in ball from. And wait, it gets better. They’re served with ranch dipping sauce. Because who doesn’t dip everything in ranch?

As pictured above, the Hotty Toddy Balls are served in a familiar red plastic basket atop of what looks like parchment paper — a sure sign of some good Southern cooking. The order comes with 8, perfect to share with the table, or a meal just to yourself. Beware…they are hard to share. Each Hotty Toddy Ball is always fried to perfection, wearing a beautiful golden color. The batter is just crunchy enough to contrast the gooey inside and not too heavy. Using your fork or your teeth, which ever you prefer, cut it open to find the real surprise. Dig into warm garlic and cheese mashed potatoes — better than what you eat at Thanksgiving — mixed with America’s favorite, bacon. The consistency is just right that the shape stays pretty much in tact not spilling out all over the place so they’re easy to eat. And the cool ranch enhances the rich flavor.

So now that I’ve got your mouth watering, it might be a good time to inform you that this delicacy is only $10. The dish is plenty for one, or if you share split the ticket. The best of both worlds: satisfying your hunger without breaking the bank. And even though it is starred as an item that “takes longer to cook” they are worth the few extra minutes.

You may think it’s strange to go to a Greek restaurant and order fried mashed potatoes as an appetizer instead of say hummus or labneh dip, but the Hotty Toddy Balls are a Volta staple. You can’t go and not try them. Plus the name says it all!