A Brief Note On Fake Potatoes

Kage Baker loved See’s Irish Potatoes.

If you have somehow overlooked these most peculiar confections, they are a short-term novelty sweetie produced by See’s Candies to honour St. Patrick’s Day. They are a fist-sized ( a lady’s smallish fist, anyway) hunk of nougat. The nougat is appropriately formed into a suitable tuber shape – doubtless by some cunning machine related to the one that stamps out Chicken McNuggets – and then rolled in cocoa powder and studded with blanched almond slivers*. It’s packaged in one of See’s cunningly made holiday boxes, which makes it the only fancy boxed potato in the world …

It actually does look rather like a Russet potato. One that’s a little long in the tooth, because it has eyes sprouting. That’s what the almond slivers represent. You get cocoa powder all over your fingers and face and shirt front when you eat them; if you are a parrot, as well, you glue your beak shut with nougat. This makes your candy-eating partner laugh helplessly and spout cocoa powder everywhere.

Or it did, during Kage’s career of eating them. I don’t like the phoney tatties, myself, so I would just watch her and Harry fall on the annual single potato and get cocoa all over. See’s only makes a limited number of them every year, and you have to get them early to be guaranteed a taste: Kage mourned when she missed the chance. So I did drive around a lot looking for the things.

Kimberly and Michael love them, so Harry still gets his yearly treat. Luckily, what the household avidly prefers is corned beef, cabbage and real potatoes, all boiled to within an inch of their lives. We’ll eat up several meals of this noble menu over the next week or so, celebrating Spring in an historically relevant Celtic manner: rarely eaten meat, lots of starch, fat and dairy, and enough of it on your plate to send you into a buttery coma. Mmmm, festival food!

No teeny nougat potatoes, though. As they are always scarce, the aficianadoes in this house ate theirs earlier in the month.  We have chocolate Guinness cupcakes instead. Not even silly green sprinkles can dim the glory of chocolate Guinness cupcakes.

Stay away from the green beer, though. That stuff’ll kill ye.

* I have just been informed by Kimberly, Dear Readers, that they are not blanched almond slivers. They are pine nuts.  Well, see, I don’t eat the things …