Potatoes are big in Idaho. Nearly 12 percent of all potatoes grown in the USA are grown in Idaho. Washington comes in second with 9.5 percent, and even Maine contributes 1.5 percent of the annual harvest. Potato growing is big in Canada, too. In fact, Canada is one of the top 20 potato growing countries in the world.
When you drive around Idaho, you’ll see all sorts of potato-related things including many postcards like the one above. In Idaho Falls stop at Reed’s Dairy for a scoop of yummy potato ice cream. In these parts they call it “Spudscream.”
If you are totally into potatoes, you might want to visit the Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot. It’s in an old railroad depot with lots of parking space for RVs. Our favorite display was the World’s Largest Potato Crisp, which was made by Pringles. If you’re hungry, an Idaho baked potato with butter goes for $1.99 in the cafe. You can wash it down with a glass of Reed’s Dairy Chocolate Milk, which uses potato flakes as sweetener. There’s nothing like it. Trust us, we know.
On average, each year every American consumes 126 pounds of spuds, 16 pounds as french fries. Potatoes are good for you. They have no fat, cholesterol or sodium and are rich in vitamin C. The potato in the postcard far above is a bit larger than normal, but in Idaho they do grow some big ones.
Oh, if you can’t make it to Idaho for some potato ice cream, here’s a recipe courtesy of the Idaho Potato Commission.
Idaho® Potato Ice Cream
- 3 small Idaho® Yukon potatoes
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Pinch of salt and black pepper
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temp
- 1/2 cup sour cream, room temp
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash potatoes. Leave peel on and cut in 1/2″ cubes. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread onto baking sheet and roast until cooked throughout, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
- In a sauce pan, bring milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in cream cheese and salt, then sour cream. Chill.
- In a blender, mix ice cream base with potatoes until completely smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, preferably a chinoise. Freeze in ice cream maker. Put in freezer 6 hours or overnight. Makes a generous quart.