Idaho and Our Famous Potatoes

Being a native of the state of Idaho I always remember the postcard above as a child because we were famous for potatoes. I think there was a time that I used to see that postcard and really believe potatoes that big grew somewhere other than the Silver Valley.
Since the time I could read I also remember the license plates that said FAMOUS POTATOES. This is still printed on Idaho license plates. The odd thing is that it is actually hard to find large, authentic Idaho "baker" potatoes when I live so close to my native state. Last week-end I received an amazing gift from my friend BW from southern Idaho. It was a small bag of FAMOUS Idaho POTATOES. These were real bakers!
This picture helps you realize the size of the potato compared to a quarter. JEJ and I had one of these baked the other night. It was great tasting, but we didn't need anything else for dinner. Here are some interesting facts I learned today about Idaho potatoes.
The origin of Idaho potatoes:

  • Potatoes were first introduced into Idaho not by a farmer but by a Presbyterian missionary named Henry Harmon Spalding. He established a mission in 1836 at Lapwai, in the state's northern panhandle, to bring Christianity to the Nez Perce Indians. He wanted to show the Nez Perce how to provide food for themselves through agriculture rather than hunting and gathering.
  • The Indians were probably the ones who made the first commercial sale of Idaho grown potatoes when they traded fresh potatoes for clothing and other goods to settlers traveling west in the wagon trains.
  • Even though Spalding's and the Nez Perce Indians' potato crop was eventually successful, potatoes are no longer farmed in the Lapwai area.


  1. I LOVE Jacket Spuds...... usually oozing with baked beans and crumbled stilton....

    That spud in the first photo is the biggest Ive ever seen, how did they get it onto that freight train? ;)


  2. Oh Ive just realized lmfao that photo of the spud on the train is probably a kids railway train set... and its NOT a giant spud afterall.... what a dinlo LOL


  3. marmite: during all of my childhood i truly believed they grew an potato that big. who knows how they did the picture... no photoshop back then. lol.


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