One of the stranger foods I found in my travels around Canada was Prince Edward Island potato fudge. This confection uses potato to replace the dairy in a traditional fudge recipe, and gives the fudge a light and fluffy texture, without leaving a taste of potato. I’m not a real fan of fudge, but this one was nice in moderation, and it was also vegan.
There is no real mystery why I would find potato fudge on Prince Edward Island; the potato has been grown on the island since 1758, as the climate and soil is absolute perfection. The first potato patched were planted among the tree stumps of the newly cleared forests; the farmer could gather a crop several years before they could force a plow through the soil. Once a French colony, once in the hands of the English PEI saw a rush of Scottish colonists who survived almost entirely on potatoes and cod. From humble beginnings PEI potatoes became famous, and today large scale producers export potatoes all over the world. Over 500 farms touch almost every aspect of island life, and potatoes are celebrated with a potato blossom festival in O’Leary every July. I didn’t catch the festival, but I managed to take in a potato fudge making demonstration at the potato museum in town, which celebrates all things potato.
I can’t say for certain where potato fudge comes from; it is made in many places in North America, though it mustn’t be confused with Irish Potato Candy, which is neither Irish, nor made of potatoes (it comes from Philadelphia). PEI also makes and sells chocolate covered potato chips, though to be honest I didn’t like them as much as the fudge; the taste of the oil lingers on the chips, and goes poorly with the chocolate. So I will stick with O’Leary potato fudge, which is an underrated dairy free snack!