Photography: Idaho Candy Company/Facebook

This Idaho treat isn’t your grandma’s sweet potato — or maybe it is.

The candy bar that made Idaho famous came from the imagination of Thomas Ovard “T.O.” Smith, who experimented with chocolate recipes in his garage before selling candy door to door out of a shoebox. In 1901, Smith established the Idaho Candy Company. By 1909, he had opened a factory in Boise. The extra space allowed him to expand his line to include the Idaho Spud Bar (1918), the Old Faithful Bar (1925), and the Cherry Cocktail Bar (1926), all of which are still in production.

Photography: Idaho Candy Company/Facebook

But it’s the Idaho Spud that remains the company’s most beloved product.

A combination of dark chocolate sprinkled with shredded coconut over a soft cocoa-flavored marshmallow center, the vaguely potato-shaped oblong candy bar is still made in the same factory space Smith opened in 1909. It’s long been the company’s bestseller. It’s especially popular in Boise, and almost everyone from Idaho seems to remember it fondly from their childhoods. Luckily for everyone who doesn’t live there or elsewhere in the Northwest, the Spud is available on the company’s website and on

From the October 2017 Taste of the West issue.

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