“Ice Cream Potatoes” might sound like an obscure password to gain access to Ben and Jerry’s secret French fry basement, but there’s more to the phrase than meets the eye. In fact, in parts of Idaho, the mere mention of ice cream potatoes is enough to get the fullest tummies rumbling.
Made famous by Boise’s legendary Westside Drive-In, the ice cream potato could be the ultimate edible chameleon. Inspired by Idaho’s beloved state tuber, the dish features vanilla ice cream, covered in chocolate “dirt” and topped with whipped cream. It sounds like a sundae and looks like something you’d make with a Maris Piper.
The first ice cream potato was allegedly created by Westside Drive-In’s notorious head chef and proprietor Lou Allen over 40 years ago. First, a few scoops of vanilla are fashioned into a rough potato shape, before being coated in a chocolate dust coating. A gash is then carved into the centre of the dirt-brown pebble, giving the impression of a freshly baked jacket.
Check out this tasty Ice Cream Poke Cake recipe:
Unsurprisingly, the unusual and delicious dessert has developed something of a cult following. Not only is it replicated at markets and fairs across Idaho, but it has also been featured on popular food programmes like “Man vs Food” and Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”.
Although whipped cream and chocolate shavings are the classic toppings used at Westside Drive-In, other chefs have come up with some tasty alternatives. Sandra Lee of Food Network-fame uses yellow icing, designed to replicate the look of butter, while Martha Stewart recommends adding green sprinkles in place of chopped chives.
Involving potatoes in pudding might seem like a last resort if you were forced to live on a diet of McCain oven chips, but Idaho is proof that the idea is not as daft as it sounds. Although, it’s worth remembering that the Westside Drive-In dish doesn’t actually involve any potato. If it did, then it would really be pushing boundaries.