Last St. Patrick’s Day, my holiday started with a gift. With a knock and a smile, my Irish-American neighbor, Ellen Hannan, bestowed me with the most Philly of St. Paddy’s treats: a box of Irish potatoes. In part, I believe, it was to correct an error that I had made a few days prior. When she had asked me if I liked them as we chatted on the porch, I’d stammered something about enjoying potatoes with my corned beef. “It’s lovely how they pick up the savory flavors,” I’d trailed off. Ellen smiled.
This, it turns out, was not what she had meant. Around here, Irish potatoes are:
- Not Irish. (They were invented stateside.)
- Not made of potatoes. (They’re a coconut candy.)
- Required for a proper St. Paddy’s Day celebration.