I usually make the mayonnaise type potato salad which is served cold. I wanted to try German but I want to serve it cold. Recipes I found serve it warm.
No problem is obvious to me, what am I missing?
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Actually, what do you expect from „German“ potato salad? There are many potato salad traditions in Germany, including mayonnaise based salads that are usually found in northern Germany. As you mention warm potato salads you are propably refering to vinaigrette or broth based salads found usually in the south (Schwäbischer Kartoffelsalat or Swabian potato salad)
It is important that you peel and marinate the potatos while they are hot as the cold potatos won‘t absorb the marinade and will lead to a salad with some dressing but not the desired „infused and emulgated“ potato salad you are looking for.
If all you have is cold potatos, do a mayonnaise based salad, or try a yoghurt based one.
Either way the southern type potato salads can be (and are) eaten either warm or cold. It‘s only in the making where the temperatures matter