Want Some Ice Cream Potatoes?

Want Some Ice Cream Potatoes?

What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase “Ice Cream Potatoes”? Sounds like password needed to enter Ben and Jerry’s top-secret French fry basement? But wait, don’t judge the book by its cover. If you are in specific parts of Idaho, the phrase ice cream potatoes are sure to get the fullest tummies rumbling.

A creation of Boise’s legendary Westside Drive-in, the ice cream potato could easily be called as the ultimate edible chameleon. Its inspiration lies in Idaho’s precious state tuber. Curious to know what it contains? Vanilla ice cream, enveloped in chocolate “dirt” and a topping of whipped cream. While it all sounds a lot like a sundae but visually it gives off an appearance of something you would make with Maris Piper. Allegedly about 40 years ago, Lou Allen, Westside Drive-In’s notorious head chef and proprietor created the first ice cream potato. Steps to create are nothing short of ingenious simplicity:

  • Fashion a few scoops of vanilla roughly into the shape of a potato
  • Then coat it in chocolate dush
  • Amid the dirt-brown pebble carve a gash to give it an impression of a freshly baked jacket

You might have already guessed that this rather innovative and unusual but admittedly delicious dessert has developed a cult following for itself. You might have also seen it appear in some of the popular food programs such as Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” and “Man vs. Food.” While Westside Drive-in’s sticks to whipped cream and chocolate shavings as its standard toppings, many other chefs have formulated their alternatives.

For example, Food Network’s Sandra Lee uses yellow icing, which is, meant to look like butter, and on the other side of the spectrum adding green sprinkles instead of chopped chives is Martha Stewart’s recommendation. Even though the Westside Drive-In dish doesn’t have any potato in it, one wonders how extreme it would have been, had potatoes been in it.