If I remember correctly, Steve Almond wrote about tracking down the Idaho Spud in Candy Freak and watches them as they are made. He then eats one and hates it. You’d think that would have been enough to stop me from paying way too much for one at an overpriced candy boutique that charges a ridiculous sum for retro candy, wouldn’t you? If you did, you probably haven’t been reading this blog for too long, as I seem to be overly willing to waste perfectly good money on candy that I know will turn out to be perfectly unappetizing.
The Idaho Spud is made by the Idaho Candy Company. They have a link to the Idaho Spud Fan Club on the site; I find it difficult to believe that people actually like this stuff, but I suppose someone is buying them and keeping them in business. I think quite a bit of their business must come from people succumbing to Candy Nostalgia Syndrome, in which they associate terrible-tasting candies of their youth with the joyousness of youth and therefore actually want to eat said terrible-tasting candies. The Idaho Spud has been around since 1918, so it’s high in the nostalgia factor. According to the website, “the popular Idaho Spud Bar is a wonderful combination of a light cocoa flavored marshmallow center drenched with a dark chocolate coating and then sprinkled with coconut (Sorry, no potato!). The potato shape and unique blend of ingredients appeals to both young and old, making the ‘Idaho Spud’ one of the top hundred selling candy bars in the Northwest.”
Don’t you love that “top hundred selling candy bars in the Northwest” bit? Not exactly a jaw-dropping statistic there. Basically, the Idaho Spud is this weird sugar/coconut goop with a chocolate coating, which is then covered in bits of coconut. The inside goop is strange in texture and flavor. It’s sort of foamy, like a marshmallow, but also dense and gooey, making it unlike any marshmallow I’d want to eat. The whole things tastes like bad chocolate and waxy, fake coconut and has the most unappetizing mouthfeel. I’m not a big fan of coconut, but I can tolerate and even enjoy it when it tastes fresh. The Idaho Spud definitely did not taste fresh.
Points off for texture, points off for flavor, and points off for appearance (I’m not even going to go there), leaving the Idaho Spud with a —. Sometimes a confection can be so bad that you just have to try it to believe it. Trust me, it’s bad, and you’re better off having never tried this.