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Irish potatoes

A box of Oh Ryan's Irish potatoes from Philadelphia.

What: Neither Irish nor containing any potato, this confection is super sweet, made mostly of sugar, butter, coconut, vanilla, and cinnamon (sugary coconut is the overwhelming flavor). A Philly-area tradition for 100-plus years, they do sort of resemble potatoes at least, with their soft, creamy-white coconut centers and brown cinnamon-rolled exteriors. They’re most popular (and available) around St. Patrick’s Day.

Where: You can find Oh Ryan’s—the largest distributor of this candy, based in nearby Linwood, Pennsylvania—Irish potatoes at most Acmes around town. We also spotted another brand of them, Asher’s, in Reading Terminal Market (45 N. 12th St., map) at the Pennsylvania General Store (215-592-9772, 800-545-4891). Let the tooth-rotting begin!

Alternatively: Philadelphia-based Emerald Confections sells richer, creamier, more gourmet Irish potato candy—handmade with cream cheese and butter—and also dips them in milk, dark, white, or mint chocolate. We are intrigued, to say the least.


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