Monday, June 26, 2006

Idaho Spud

“It’s the candy bar that makes Idaho famous,” whispers the barely visible black print on brown at the bottom of the wrapper. If you love those memory foam mattresses, you’ll love the Idaho Spud.

Well, maybe it’s not quite like that, the Idaho Spud has been around since 1918 ... so maybe tempurpedic was inspired by the candy bar!


So really, what is it? It’s a dense, chocolate-flavored marshmallow covered in fake chocolate and then dusted with coconut. Of course it all looks like a potato.

First, I have to say that I didn’t eat the whole bar ... because there are hydrogenated oils in there. Not just a trace like most candies, I’m talking 1.5 grams.

The center of the bar is rather odd, like a cross between a custardy jelly and marshmallow. The chocolately coating doesn’t seem to stick well to this firm foam, so when you bite into it, it kind of flakes off. The dominant flavor is coconut, which I always like.

The fake chocolate isn’t very pleasant - kind of greasy and crumbly. The whole bar has a rather maple flavor to it, which might be the coconut. The firm marshmallow center is actually really interesting and I enjoyed the firm texture and density of it with the light tough of chocolate. But the combo of high trans fats and the mockolate just turned me off. For the last third of the bar I peeled off the chocolate coating and just ate the center. I’m a big potato fan, so I’m not going to let this dissuade me from my actual favorite Idaho export, but I don’t think I’d ever give one of these to someone as a treat when I returned from a vacation in Idaho.

Name: Idaho Spud
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Idaho Candy Company
Place Purchased: Village Candy (Sewickley, PA)
Price: $1.55
Size: 1.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Coconut, Marshmallow, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:11 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Thank you for giving this the review it deserves! I can feel the rumbling Idaho mob approaching my door as I type this. Everyone here is just in love with the Idaho Spud. I have never been able to stand it, and I get horrified looks from fellow Idahoans when I say so.

    Why would anyone make a candy bar that begins to fall apart immediately after packaging? Also, I don’t understand the cononut/maple icky flavor. Coconut has nothing to do with potatoes, and certainly does not speak to the arid high desert climate. There are no coconut palms here, thank-you-very-much.

    It has been featured on the Food Network, sent to ME as a present from outside the state (why?!), and it’s called a “classic.” It think it’s about time for this classic to retire!

    Comment by Brit on 6/26/06 at 6:45 am #
  2. Remind me if I ever go to Idaho, never to buy their potatoes…

    Comment by GTO on 6/26/06 at 8:34 am #
  3. Buy the potatoes.  Stear clear of the spuds.

    Comment by chadd on 6/26/06 at 9:50 am #
  4. One year my children were given these as Halloween treats. I remember thinking they must be made from potatoes to get the name “Idaho Spud.” They certainly are a strange candy but they weren’t too bad. I’d never eat one again however. Love Idaho potatoes though. They are THE BEST.

    Comment by Suzanne on 6/26/06 at 5:01 pm #
  5. Sounds terrible, looks awful.  It makes me long for the cow pie that one of my friends like that I also find detestable.  Fake chocolate only belongs on stuff where it’s not a distraction, like Butterfingers.  I’m imagining a blob of Fluff, a squirt of syrup, some coconut, and a handful of Sixlets.  Sounds worse than a 3 to me.

    Comment by Dave on 6/26/06 at 7:24 pm #
  6. Fake chocolate should be outlawed!!  Except for Sixlets…I LOVE those things!

    I was in heaven this weekend; I went to Long’s Drugs and found Dark Chocolate Reese’s Miniature Peanut Butter Cups!!!  They are AMAZING!!  I bought 4 bags and threw them in the freezer.  Yum!!!

    Comment by Lesley on 6/27/06 at 4:45 am #
  7. Speaking of “fake” chocolate, I think the best tasting is the kind you get inside Advent Calendars. Do you have Advent Calendars in the States for the countdown to Christmas? Your chocolate will obviously differ from what we get, but I don’t know whether it’s the cardboard its surrounded by, the spirit of christmas or what, but christ, cheap Advent chocolate is awesome.

    Comment by GTO on 6/27/06 at 8:33 am #
  8. Yep, it’s awful! The sell them at Wacko! on Hollywood Blvd. and I bought one once. Ick. I didn’t finish it either.

    Comment by Jodi on 6/27/06 at 7:18 pm #
  9. Cybele's avatar

    I was kind of nervous about writing this review ... because it’s such an iconic bar. It’s stood the test of time though it’s looks alone, I guess. I’m glad to hear I’m not alone!

    (I do love one fake chocolate product - the Goldenberg Peanut Chews.)

    Comment by Cybele on 6/28/06 at 6:42 am #
  10. Ok, these are best fresh. But sixlets are gross. Waxy chocolate like that in Advent calanders is worse than fake chocolate

    Comment by Spuds on 9/19/06 at 6:40 pm #
  11. I have to say, we got one of these as a “gift” from someone that went to Idaho, and I was so excited that I got to try a local candy bar from somewhere. It was truly VILE. I nearly vomited. I have never tasted a more disgusting thing packaged as candy. And I eat almost any kind of sugar.

    Comment by Vicky on 10/07/06 at 3:03 pm #
  12. You know it is so funny to read eveyones comments. ANd it just goes to show you how much of a Health freak conrty we have become. Candy has nothing to do with fake and how it looks. Kids don’t care. many of us “Adults” probably ate many candies that we now would Band from the stores. But for one the “FAKE” chocolate is milk chocolate WIth coconut in it (that a lone would change in chocolate to Waxy Chocolate) and you all are eating it wrong. You eat the out side frist then the inside marshmellowy thing (which is the best part.) And the coconut has nothing to do with COCONUTS. If you have ever seen a potatoe then you know they have “eyes” the coconut is there to represent the “EYES” of a potatoes. Plus They are adicting. You most eat more then one to really get the full taste of the potatoe. Oh yeah and who cares about hydrogenated oils, Candy is for enjoying those delicious little “SINS.”

    Comment by bosieX2 on 12/08/06 at 5:54 pm #
  13. I love Idaho Spuds! They have been my favorite since I was a kid. They certainly aren’t for everyone though. I can see why more than a few people would be turned off by them. I guess that means more for me.

    Comment by Megann on 2/05/07 at 9:01 am #
  14. I never cared for the spud bar. The poor quality chocolate on the exterior leave a bit to be desired.  But the candy bar is a part of history in Idaho.

    Comment by Marie Sharp on 2/08/07 at 6:00 pm #
  15. Forgot to mention that the Owyhee Butter Toffee makes up for what the spud bar lacks. A Christmas favorite.

    Comment by Marie Sharp on 2/08/07 at 6:02 pm #
  16. They do make the BEST butter toffee! I think the Spud Bar is like a real potato - it’s best eaten peeled. That’s what my kids do - flake off the icky chocolate and eat the fabulous goo part.

    Comment by kelly on 2/12/07 at 8:29 am #
  17. I LOVE the Idaho Spud.  I didn’t even know they made it anymore.  Now that I do know, I will order some.  I really don’t know how anyone could not love it.

    Comment by Anita on 2/19/07 at 8:30 am #
  18. My father use to send these to me when I was kid for Christmas. I’m now 31 and he has since passed away. I order a box for my sisters and myself every Christmas   and remember how good they are every time we bite into them. If you love coconut and marshmellow, you have to try at least one in your life.

    Comment by DJ on 3/01/07 at 5:09 pm #
  19. I remember enjoying Idaho Spuds when I was going to school.  Then I moved away and couldn’t find them anymore.  But I recently bought some while on vacation in Oregon.  I think they are as good as ever and they taste delicious.  Classic?  Not sure what makes anything a classic, but I know I’ll always love them.

    Comment by Tanner on 11/22/07 at 5:49 pm #
  20. The best is HOMEMADE Spud Balls.  Take 3 1/2 lbs. almond bark and melt it.  Let it cool to room temp.  Stir in 18 oz cool whip.  Then take spoonfulls and roll into balls, roll them in coconut.  Put in the fridge for an hour or so, and prepare for heaven!!  I like the store bought ones, but these are better!!!

    Comment by Mandi Cook on 11/25/07 at 10:36 am #
  21. Oh and I forgot, try the spud ball made by Farr Candy Co., not the ones we export and sell to tourists!

    Comment by Mandi Cook on 11/25/07 at 10:51 am #
  22. In my quest to search about the Idaho Spud - I found your blog! I am so glad to see my family was not the only ones not excited about this candy. I think your reviews on candy are right on and so I am going to add you to my blog so that I can enjoy reading about candy!! My mouth even watered as I looked at the pictures of cadbury eggs….PS - I really like your candy ratings - very helpful! I wish I had read this before I purchased that Idaho Spud!!! I would have saved myself $1.00!!

    Comment by Stephanie Wahlberg on 8/29/08 at 8:47 pm #
  23. One of the greatest things about this candy is the memories it holds;  the care free times as child, a time when Boise had a small town atmosphere, a time of playing in my grandparent’s field and when my greatest concern was what was for dinner.  Is it the best candy I have ever had, no.  Is it the worst candy out there, NO.
    It is one of my favorite treats, but it isn’t for everyone.

    Comment by molly Hagens on 9/28/08 at 9:32 am #

    Comment by WARD ELLIS on 11/23/08 at 7:48 pm #
  25. Cybele's avatar

    Ward, you didn’t say why you think they’re the best.

    (Oh, and all caps is considered yelling.)

    Comment by Cybele on 11/23/08 at 7:56 pm #
  26. After reading these comments, I have to put in a few words on the Idaho Spud Bar.  My late uncle was head candy maker at the Idaho Candy Company, Boise, ID, for almost half a century.  Many times, as a child, I watched him make both the Idaho Spuds and the Owyhee Butter Toffee.  Let me say that the Idaho Candy Company has somehow changed the recipe for the Spuds enough that it doesn’t even taste like it used to…nor is it as plump.  Everything about it is “just a little different.”  This is no the imagination of a 61 year old mind talking…they are not even put together the same way.  The old ones had a little strip of chocolaty stuff (about the size of a stick of chewing gum) that went from end to end through the middle.  It is no longer there.  My cousins agree that they don’t taste the same at all.  They are simply no longer tasty - they are mushy and unappealing - compared to what they once were.  But I would bet the farm that they are cheaper to manufacture.  Although I have not tasted their Owyhee Butter Toffee in years, it has always been my VERY FAVORITE “food group” - bar none.  I hope they haven’t tinkered with it, but no matter…I still know how to make it the old fashioned way…and no, I’m not giving away any secrets, except to say that I still have the slab of marble my uncle gave me to roll it out on.  Other than that, I promised him that his secret was safe and it is.  But SHAME SHAME SHAME on the Idaho Candy Company for what they have done to the Spuds.

    Comment by Bruce on 11/24/08 at 2:45 pm #
  27. Hey I personally Love the Idaho Spud Candy bar. I lived in Idaho for 49 years and always had some spud bars hanging around, but not for long as I always ate them. Now that I live in Portland, Oregon area I find them hard to get so I always order a box of them to be shipped to me.  Then I have a Nice Candy bar for a week or so. For those that don’t like them that is fine with me as that means more for me. Btw I am 60 years old and still weigh only 135 lbs so no they never made me fat and I never had a heart attack from eating them.

    Comment by Larry on 12/05/08 at 12:53 pm #
  28. Well, I have to say that I was born and raised in Idaho and was the ONLY person I knew that loved the Idaho Spud! I remember buying them 10 for a dollar in the early 90’s because the stores couldn’t sell them, but that was great for me (just not my weight). Now I live on the East coast and did drop a few pounds, but had a box sent out that I eagerly gave out to all of my friends and co-workers. Everybody hated them! I will now always be called “spud” whenever somebody gets a chance, but I don’t care! Long live the Idaho Spud! (warning: don’t eat more tha 1 every 3 years or you too will have a weight problem)

    Comment by Jamee on 3/18/09 at 2:09 pm #
  29. Reading all the comments I came to the astounding conclusion that people have different tastes! But it’s interesting how people will describe a taste they do not like. For many no adjective is beyond the pale. Probably goes back to childhood when our first food prejudices are formed. I have a sweet tooth and enjoy Idaho Spuds but my Oregon wife hates them. She describes their taste in language that would make a sailor blush. I feel he same about red licorice. Great blog!

    Comment by Fritz on 6/25/09 at 9:37 am #
  30. wow im totally surprised by the comments about the idaho spud candy it the best ever it my favorite my sisters my sister in law and my four neices which are their favorite to i remember as alittle girl driving to idaho to see my grandma and grandpa in buhl idaho our 1964 ramler at the time had a thing for over heating so we would have to wait in the hot car until some one come by with some water to help us out for some reason my dad forgot water and i would thank he would keep it handly cause we were alway dead on the road with that car every summer when we went to idaho one time their was a family stopped by along the road to help us i guess they felt sorry for my sister and i and my baby brother cause they left a case of idaho spuds for us ill never forget that day im 51 and my sis 55 and we dearly love our idaho spuds they kept us from going hungry while we waited for the car to cool if anyone of you have the recipe i would love it its hard to find the candy in wyoming what a shame it should be in every store no way is the chocolate fake what about the fake chocolate little donnuts from sweetheart bakery now thats fake

    Comment by cindi barnes on 12/14/09 at 10:13 pm #
  31. My father always, brings “Idaho Spuds” back from his trips to Idaho. They are awful. But for some reason, we always end up eating them, anyways.

    Comment by Fed on 3/15/10 at 3:05 pm #
  32. when I was a little girl my mom bought me and my sisters Idaho spuds candy bars . She said they were her favorite when she was a little girl. They are my sisters and my favorite . but they are so hard to fine to buy. but when one of us do fine them we buy plenty for all of us . we love the Idaho spuds candy . please never stop making and selling them .

    comment by Geneva on 4/20/10 3:25 pm New Mexico

    Comment by Geneva on 4/21/10 at 2:29 pm #
  33. Don’t let a terrible review deter you from trying them. I’ve been eating them for nearly 40 years now and I’ve NEVER had the outside chocolate be “greasy or crumbly”. The chocolate tastes like chocolate, so I really don’t understand how the reviewer can come up with such comments?  It’s always been a perfect, wonderful and tasty candy!

    Comment by Jen on 5/21/10 at 1:51 pm #
  34. you need to get the spud BITES these are perfect the right amount of filling go on a tour of the factory very interesting find out about the sea weed used in the bar and how the chocolate is made.  they even sell seconds on the bites you wont be disappointed

    Comment by debbie roache on 6/21/10 at 6:51 pm #
  35. i guess i have to be the odd man out here. i just tried one and i have to say.. DELICIOUS! i love coconut and marshmallow type things though… oh well

    Comment by Sara on 8/07/11 at 9:14 am #
  36. We grew up getting a box of these every year for Christmas from our cousins in Idaho and every year we would eat them. I have since moved to Idaho and I don’t think I have eaten more than one in the last three years. BUT I got something on a Christmas goodie plate that I think is what the Idaho Spud bar should taste like. Melt one giant Hershey’s bar, let cool a little, mix with one container of whipped topping. Roll tablespoons of mixture in coconut. There you have it! Sooo good. I know the ingredients aren’t much better but the end result is.

    Comment by Michelle on 1/02/12 at 8:38 pm #
  37. Aw come on, how can you not like the Idaho Spud? I had my first one in the early ‘60s at the celebratory opening of a bank branch in Moscow, Idaho. First time I ever rode an escalator, too. Both were exquisite experiences. I have a box of Idaho Spuds in my freezer - I keep them stocked, because they are my favorite candybar. Slightly chilled is when they’re best. The recipe doesn’t seem to have changed much if at all in the past 50 years, although the packaging has. I remember the original wrapper, with the piece of thin cardboard on the bottom. Think it’s easy to find these outside the Pacific Northwest? Try finding them in Phoenix! Sweeties candy store has them, thank goodness. Love, love, love them.

    Comment by Jenny on 1/11/13 at 10:22 am #
  38. These were my Dad’s favorite. We were raised in Lewiston, Idaho. I’ve always loved the Idaho Spud and don’t really care if it’s not the latest trendy, free trade, low CO2, cane sugar, organic, dark and bitter chocolate that the phony ‘Cocoa Cognoscenti’ approve of. They taste the same to me now as they did in the 1960s. A delicious candy bar. Anyone who criticizes the Idaho Spud should be ashamed.

    Comment by Guglielmo Boogliodemus on 6/24/13 at 9:39 pm #
  39. We came to Idaho in 1901 and the Idaho Spud has been a part of our lives for a big part of that time. Not because because it was so good, but because it was part of our history. Farr Candy Co. has far (no pun intended) superior candy! Amazing products. But the Spud bar seems to have a bit of nostalgia that keeps on coming to the surface. I have a niece who lives in the East and we send a box to her and her family every Christmas and they love them and look forward to that ‘treat’. So, to each his own. History is a matter of taste. Merry Christmas!

    Comment by Corinne on 12/04/13 at 11:01 pm #
  40. Love them. Especially frozen.

    Comment by Georgia on 8/28/14 at 4:43 pm #
  41. Went on a tour of the factory the spud bites are made with real chocolate. Support your local chocolate factory.You can sample the different products. This is a nice family man supporting 8 kids with long time local workers.

    Comment by Debbie Roache on 8/28/14 at 6:43 pm #
  42. I’ve loved these since I was a kid, but I suppose they’re not for everyone. But as far as the health content goes…IT’S FREAKIN CANDY!!!

    Comment by Glitchus on 12/17/14 at 8:20 pm #
  43. Brit, with all due respect to you and your taste, OF COURSE the Idaho Spud should not have coconut if it were a REAL potato, but saying such about a candy called Idaho Spud’s like saying Circus Peanuts shouldn’t look orange but then taste like bananas, for Boston Baked Beans not to have peanuts (though of these that I’m mentioning those are the only ones that I throw away if I find them in a candy container smile) or that candy corn should be real

    Comment by SteveCarras on 4/25/15 at 4:58 pm #
  44. It WOULD be odd if potatos DID find their way into candy bars, but when’s that gonna happen., I DO love mashed and fried potatoes (never went to Idaho myself,though..)

    Comment by SteveCarras on 4/25/15 at 5:00 pm #
  45. All they need now is potatoes. (And much wider distribution. smile)

    Comment by SJCarras on 2/06/17 at 8:36 am #
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