Ask the Editor: WTF Are Irish Potatoes?

For those of you not from around here, an explainer.

Shane Confectionery’s Irish potatoes| photo provided

I’m not from around here. What the heck are these Irish potato candies I’m seeing everywhere?

—Joshua in Juniata

Philly Mag food editor Alex Tewfik

Irish potatoes are a regional delicacy, born about a century ago, available in March for St. Patrick’s Day. They’re delicious hyper-sweet nuggets of coconut cream (or cream cheese) rolled in cinnamon, to look like tiny potatoes covered in dirt.

Back when elementary schools weren’t terrified of lawsuits, moms would bring them into classrooms so you could learn about Irish culture — though they were invented in Philly. Find name-brand Irish potatoes like Oh Ryan’s at Acme and artisan versions at candy shops like Shane Confectionery (110 Market Street) and Lore’s (34 South 7th Street).

I like the ones at Baker Brother’s in Pennsport (2300 South 3rd Street), because Irish potatoes taste better in Irish neighborhoods — even if they’re not very Irish.

Oh, and we made a more comprehensive guide to Irish potatoes here. Enjoy!