Here comes the Spud King.
Here comes the Spud King.

Idaho Potato Museum

Field review by the editors.

Blackfoot, Idaho

The image of King Spud grins from signs on the outskirts of Blackfoot. While any town in this tater-rich region could claim global preeminence, Blackfoot grabs it with its Idaho Potato Museum, a celebration of the lowly spud and all its varied uses.

At the Idaho Potato Museum, you can "Learn about the agricultural, historical, social, scientific, educational, artistic and economic aspects of the world-famous Idaho potato." A giant chunk of Idaho gold -- the world's largest Styrofoam potato -- lies next to the parking lot, like something that fell off a flatbed truck on a novelty postcard (you can see the potato still on the truck elsewhere in Idaho).

The World's Largest Styrofoam Potato.
The World's Largest Styrofoam Potato.

There are displays on how the industry grew in Idaho, and exhibits of farming and sorting equipment.

A tribute to Mr. Potato Head sits behind glass.

You can touch the sleeve of the burlap tuxedo worn by Idaho's first Potato Commissioner. In 1998, they added a burlap rodeo queen outfit, made of potato sack, with vest and skirt.

There's a speculative section on how the "Potato In Space" might fare.

Burlap jacket.
You can touch the sleeve of the burlap tuxedo worn by Idaho's first Potato Commissioner.

Perhaps most amazing: the world's largest potato chip, a 25x14-inch Pringle created in 1991 by Proctor & Gamble engineers. This pizza-sized potato snack is in its own display case.

During the summer, the Gift Shop sells potato fudge, potato ice cream and potato cookies. The free baked potato once given to visitors ("Free 'Taters For Out-Of-Staters") now includes a footnote: "* with $3 admission."

Update - February 2006: The styrofoam potato has either been replaced or refurbished with sour cream and butter.

May 2005: Heard from several recent visitors that due to flooding in the kitchen, the Potato Expo is currently unable to make baked potatoes or potato ice cream. The free potato product is now a carton of dried potato hash browns.

Also see: Big Potato on a Truck | King Spud vs. King Cow Chip

Idaho Potato Museum

Idaho Potato Museum

Address:
130 NW Main St., Blackfoot, ID
Directions:
Downtown Blackfoot.
Hours:
Summer M-F 9:30 am -5 pm; fewer hours off-season. (Call to verify)
Phone:
208-785-2517
Admission:
Adults $3, Children 6-12 $1, under 6 - Free Seniors $2.50
RA Rates:
Major Fun
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