Idaho Potato Harvest Part 4: Idahoan Foods and Dehydrated Potatoes

Idahoan groupHere we are at the Idahoan Foods plant in Lewisville, Idaho!  We have just learned how potatoes are dehydrated and made into potato flakes and dried potato slices.  We also had a chance to taste some delicious new potato casseroles made with dehydrated potatoes.  This was the last stop  on  our Idaho Potato Harvest  Tour as we headed toward Victor, Idaho for a little relaxation time.

bus of bloggers

Mimi, Niki, Mary and Renee on the bus!

Idahoan was started over 50 years ago by businessmen and farmers who wanted to make great tasting instant mashed potatoes.  I’m old enough to remember when instant mashed potatoes first came out.  In fact, I was a little girl during the time in the 50’s and 60’s when families began to use boxed and canned foods more than homemade.  Some of the foods were good, and some were just not as tasty as the real thing.  Instant mashed potatoes were a real disappointment in those days.  At the Idahoan plant we learned why that happened and how they corrected it. Continue reading

Idaho Harvest Trip Part 3: Food Bloggers Dig Potatoes!

digging potatoes

By the time we arrived at Brett Jensen’s farm near Idaho Falls,  all of the bloggers and dietitians were beginning to get acquainted.   We all knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime tour, and we were eager to spend as much time as we could with each other.   One thing about bloggers that you have probably noticed by now:  we love to tell stories!  Each bus ride and meal shared together included fascinating tales of growing up, education, early careers, and family life.   A microcosm of humanity journeying through Idaho in a small bus.

potato field ready for harvest

We turned off the main road and drove along a dirt lane, through acres of potato fields.  The bus turned in at a potato storage where a group of men were working some large equipment. Continue reading

Idaho Potato Harvest Tour Part 2: All About Potatoes

potato storage

Have you ever seen so many potatoes?   Imagine 13 billion pounds of potatoes…that’s how many are harvested each year in Idaho on 300,000 acres.  94 per cent of those potatoes are russets like these…and there are different varieties of russets too:  Burbank,  Norkotah, Ranger, and Western, to name a few.  Idaho potato farmers also grow gold, pink, red, and fingerling potatoes.   Only about 29% of those  potatoes are for eating fresh, and  9%  are for seeds. More than 60 per cent of all the potatoes grown are processed:   frozen (french fries, hash browns, tater tots. etc.)  or dehydrated as potato flakes and slices for  instant mashed potatoes and casseroles.

unwashed potatoes and vines

Unwashed potatoes and potato vines come into the plant from the farm.

Last week I was lucky enough to visit Idaho to celebrate the harvest with Idaho Potato Commission.  I joined a small group of food bloggers and  registered dietitians on tours of  farms and potato processing facilities.  On our first full day in Idaho we all piled into a bus Continue reading

Mimi Avocado’s Trip to Idaho with Idaho Potato Commission – Part 1

Brett Jensen's farm

photo credit: Idaho Potato Commission

There are three things that I love to do more than anything else:  go new places, meet new people, and learn new things.  I’m sure this is one of the reasons I love blogging: there are so many opportunities to do just that.  Last week I had the most wonderful time visiting Idaho as a guest of the Idaho Potato Commission.  I was one of a group of bloggers and dietitians who were invited to celebrate the Idaho potato harvest by meeting farmers and industry representatives,  visiting farms and packing/processing facilities, and tasting  foods and drinks made with  Idaho potatoes over the course of three very full days. Continue reading

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