The Irish people have a long and sordid history with their potatoes. In the 1800s, potatoes had a bad rap, associated with the Irish Potato Famine that killed more than 1 million people. Potatoes are standard with nearly every Irish meal: boiled, sliced, or fashioned into a pancake.
For the past 100 years, they've become a tradition in Pennsylvania, but it's not what you think.
Irish Potatoes candy are not Irish, nor do they contain any potato product. They're actually little balls of coconut, rolled in cocoa and cinnamon powders.
Produced by a Pennsylvania confectioner called Oh Ryan's, Irish Potatoes are available only seasonally, around St. Patrick's Day.
If you can get past the fact that
they're not starchy, salty, and covered in melted butter, Irish Potatoes are really tasty. Upon first bite, the cinnamon flavor bombards your senses.
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As you continue to chew, the flavors balance out. A subtle hint of cocoa dances on the tongue, with sweet and creamy coconut taking center stage. The texture is pleasant, and you find yourself savoring it. Before you know it, you're popping another in your mouth. Then a third... damn it! Where did the box go?
Who should eat this? Irish people. Non-Irish people. St. Patty's Day lovers, candy addicts... basically, anyone except coconut haters.