Glad there’s only one of: Idaho Spud

I really don’t know much about these except that they’re made by the Owyhee Candy Co.  in Boise. I disovered them while visiting my sister in Oregon and brought one home for Ethan and I to evaluate.

Evaluation: It’s kind of ironic that I’m watching Caddy Shack while I write this because when I took the spud out of the wrapper I immediately thought of the scene where a Baby Ruth bar falls into the pool and Spaulding yells “DOOTIE!”

The outside of these are chocolate with coconut flakes. The inside is an…odd, firm, bouncy blob of something that seems like it should be marshmallow but isn’t.

I looked at the ingredients and they say it contains “agar agar” which is a seaweed-based gelatin.  I can appreciate that hooves (or whatever gelatin is usually made of) aren’t used, but the texture of the blob wasn’t pleasant.  Ethan noted that it also had a very coffee-like taste, which seemed mismatched with the chocolate and coconut.

Wrap up: It just seems like something is off. Ethan couldn’t even finish his half. I finished mine but I think it was just out of curiosity because I like chocolate and coconut, but was trying to pinpoint how this gelatinous/pasty/coffee center really threw off that flavor combo.  I have to say though that Idaho Spuds do have a strong following. They even have their own fan club listed on the Owyhee site which features recipes people made up from melting these down. I wouldn’t go so far as to say the Spud is disgusting, but it’s definitely something I am glad there’s only one of.

Idaho Spud - Would you try it?

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10 thoughts on “Glad there’s only one of: Idaho Spud

  1. Agar agar is used a lot in Japanese snacks. The main benefit over it rather than gelatin is that it stays firm at room temperature so you don’t have to refrigerate gelatin-style products made with it. It really doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that should be robed in chocolate and coconut though.

    This has to be a product that was originally made differently and was modified in the last 30 years to use cheaper ingredients. I can’t imagine agar agar was commonly used in 1918 when the bar was first introduced. Still, if I saw it (and I never will), I’d try it.

  2. S. Almond (oh, the irony) profiled this “delicious” snack in his book Candy Freak. You can learn all about how they are made along with profiles of a couple other regional candies. I highly recommend it.

  3. I’m from Boise, and just happen to live here – and strangely enough JUST [‘m talking 30 seconds] finished a conversation about the Idaho Spud – I don’t like them as-is, but they’re incredibly delicious FROZEN – they crackle like freeze-dried ice cream and are a good treat every once in a while – they’re also good for a marshmallow replacement in rice crispy treats but take more work [and money].

  4. I have a friend who loves these, and I have to get him one any time I go out west. The conversation after his first one went like this:

    “This is really good! Where did you get this?”
    “Wyoming.”
    “So I can’t get another one?”
    “No.”
    “YOU BASTARD!”

  5. I saw an episode about these on “unwrapped” with Marc summers on the food network. Very odd idea but kinda cool. I’m not so eager to try them since im not a big marshmellow fan.

  6. My dad always buys tons of these when he goes to Idaho. We don’t really like them, but they always seem to disappear anyways.

  7. I first saw them in 1975 in Salt Lake City … the “eyes” on the wrapper look like human eyes but were supposed to, I guess, look like the “eyes” on a potato. I got it that it was supposed to look like half of a potato (brown skin, white insides). When I got back to Northern California, no one believed me and I swore that if I found another one, I’d save the wrapper.

    I finally found them in a little convenience store in Seattle in 1981, bought 2 and had one until a couple of months ago when I finally threw it out (but saved the wrapper).

    By the way, even in 1975 it didn’t taste so great!

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