Or at least a friend or neighbor who let you in on the secret.

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It's one of those deeply personal things, one's preference for potato salad. My grandmother made a German potato salad that was served warm and had bits of diced ham in it. Her children went bonkers for it—the in-laws not so much. There are some who prefer a Dijon-based vinaigrette and round discs of red potatoes with the skin still on. Others love to throw in a generous handful of dill or a big heaping spoonful of relish. But, there's something special about a potato salad that calls on boiled egg.

I have a few potato salads in rotation, depending on the season, the occasion, and whether my sister (who does not like boiled eggs) will be joining. Of course, she and my husband always have to duke it out as his favorite just so happens to be the egg version. She usually wins. Throughout my time making all these various spud-centric sides, I've determined something unique about the potato, egg, and mayo/mustard dressing version—those who didn't grow up in the South are typically the first to use an adjective like unique, different, or unexpected to describe the flavor—the tell-tale sign of one not accustom to this preparation. The other mix-ins are just ways of making it one's own whether it's pimientos, relish, paprika, bacon, onion, or celery.

Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad
Credit: Hector Manuel Sanchez

Whether you chop, grate, or slice the egg is inconsequential, though I was taught to grate it so it melts into the salad, but still imparts tons of flavor. The one thing you absolutely must get right is not overcooking the hard-boiled eggs. I can't imagine the horror of serving a Southern grandmother a green-ringed hard-boiled egg, and that's exactly what you'll have to do if you let them cook for too long.

Now, if you really want to impress your new in-laws, your friend's mama, or even the sweet couple next door now that you've moved to the neighborhood, fix them up our Southern-Style Potato Salad Recipe or our Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad. Either one is bound to do Grandma proud—no matter what her potato salad preference.