Dining Around Town with Roundhouse Ron…Oh Ryan’s IRISH Potatoes

Mar 6, 2013

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As we dig out our green IRISH tee shirts, green beads, green sun glasses & green party beer mugs, I realize that St. Patrick’s Day is upon us once again. It’s our time to show our IRISH historical pride, as we travel from one festive IRISH pub to another festive IRISH pub, getting our drink on while make new friends. You can see it all over northeast Philly during the first 3 weeks of March, as people participate in either the “Shamrock Shuttle”, “The Erin Express” or even on St. Patrick’s Day it’s self.
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But, as a local foodie writer, I totally enjoy this time of year, because one of my favorite little nuggets of confectionary delights are available for my consumption. Yes, I am talking about those awesome bite size cinnamon covered tasty morsels called “Irish Potatoes”. The funny thing is that they are not IRISH & they are not made out of potatoes. They are a local Philadelphia IRISH tradition for over 100 years.
Because of the Great “Irish Potato” Famine of the mid 1800’s, the potato has an ominous place in the hearts of Irish people everywhere. In the great Irish tradition of fighting against the odds, the “Oh Ryan’s Irish Potato” family hopes to erase those awful memories by creating these amazing candy concoctions that look like real miniature potatoes. At first glance, they appear to have been recently plucked from the ground of a potato farm. But, upon first bite, the taste sensation packs a powerful punch of flavor.
“Irish Potatoes” mostly consist of a sugar fondant, lots of butter, pure water & a special family flavoring secret, when mixed, forms a vanilla & coconut flavored butter cream rich center with a coconut macaroon texture & then rolled in a fresh spicy cinnamon dust coating. I think the name Irish Potato comes from the unique potato look due to the cinnamon peal. There are a few small companies that make these very sexy treats, but, if you want the real deal, search out for “Oh Ryan’s Irish Potatoes”.
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“Oh Ryan’s Irish Potatoes” is a private family run company that has been rolling out these sugary vegetables since 1992. At that time, the company was named for their 3 year old son (Ryan), it was a perfect fit, cause “Ryan” is such an awesome Irish name. The factory headquarters is located on E. Ridge Road in Linwood, Pa, in which I had the great opportunity to get a VIP tour of the entire “Oh Ryan’s Irish Potato” & “Christopher Chocolates” factory, by the main man, “David Lamparelli” (owner & sweet genius). Visiting & watching them produce their amazing Irish Potatoes was simply spectacular.
Now, that “Ryan” (24 years old) is all grown up, he works alongside his father in the company that has grown to be the largest producer of “Irish Potatoes” today. Almost 90% of “Oh Ryan’s Irish Potatoes” sales have been in the Philadelphia area, but they have shipped them all across the country from Massachusetts to Florida, to California & as far away as Nome, Alaska. In this short time, they have established themselves as the largest purveyor of the sweet little potatoes. Now, that sum serious shyt ;-}
“Oh Ryan’s Irish Potatoes” are packed in 7oz boxes (15 potatoes per box) and are shrink-wrapped for freshness on a daily, as each box is stamped with a sell by date. This season alone, “Oh Ryan’s” have shipped over 80,000 pounds of these delicious spud like candy treats, which equals to over 40 tons or a little over 2,400.000 “Irish Potatoes”. “Christopher Chocolates” only produces the potatoes from January 1st to February 28th, this way the product is always fresh for each St. Patrick’s Day.
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To purchase “Oh Ryan’s Irish Potatoes” in a 7oz box or within a gourmet gift basket, please go to: www.christopher-chocolates.com. You can also contact “Oh Ryan’s Irish Potatoes” at: Ryan@OhRyans.net or just call them @ 610.494.7123
Now, “Oh Ryan’s Irish Potatoes” are found at any local Wawa, Turkey Hill, Hallmark Card, supermarket or big chain store. But, for the best selection, go visit “Christopher Chocolates” at 3519 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, PA 19073, 610.359.1669
“Oh Ryan’s Irish Potatoes” are the perfect sweet sensation St. Patrick’s Day confection to help us all celebrate our proud Irish American heritage.

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