By Derrek J. Hull, Blogger-in-Chief
The Idaho Potato Commission's Great Big Idaho Potato Truck will make three special appearances in Chicago, its second largest U.S. market, before making its way to idle on display in Booth #2202 at the 2012 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, set for its new dates May 5-8, 2012. The “Spectacular Spud Stops” will include two weekday supermarket appearances and a Saturday morning special event at Chicago's iconic eatery Ina’s Restaurant, 1235 W. Randolph St. on April 28, 9 a.m. - noon.
“We’re thrilled to host the Great Big Idaho Potato truck at Ina’s,” said Chef/Owner and self-described "Breakfast Queen" Ina Pinkney of Ina's.
Her popular restaurant in Chicago's West Loop features a Famous Idaho Potato mural and uses 300 pounds of Famous Idaho Potatoes weekly for mashed potatoes, French fries, potato pancakes, and Ina’s signature Garlic Roasted Potatoes. A local representative of Meals on Wheels will join Ina and IPC Vice President-Foodservice Don Odiorne for the event to accept a bag of Famous Idaho Potatoes, symbolizing the month’s supply that the IPC is donating as a special gift.
The IPC commissioned the custom-built truck, a larger-than-life version of a vintage Idaho potato postcard, in celebration of its milestone 75th Anniversary. Weighing in at six tons (the equivalent of 32,346 medium-sized Idaho potatoes), the Great Big Idaho Potato is traversing the country to greet fans and help raise funds and awareness for the Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA), the oldest and largest national organization dedicated to helping end senior hunger.
“This is a very special year for us as we recognize an industry that has worked tirelessly to grow the finest potatoes available. We know that our potatoes provide nourishment to millions of folks every day of the year, but many don’t realize how important the potato industry is to Idaho,” explained Frank Muir, IPC president and CEO. “Idaho Potatoes generate more than $4 billion dollars in revenue annually and employ more than 30,000 people. Agriculture and potatoes in particular are the primary reasons Idaho is among the most fiscally sound states in the nation.”
Join the IPC at Ina’s to view the Great Big Idaho Potato Truck and enjoy Ina’s Famous Idaho Potato dishes on Saturday, April 28, 9 a.m. - noon, at Ina’s Restaurant, 1235 W. Randolph St.
Famous Idaho Potato Truck Facts
The Great Big Idaho Potato Truck made its national debut at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho, December 2012, and was prominently featured on ESPN. At every public appearance and at every venue, the most frequently asked question about the Great Big Idaho Potato is: “Is it real?”
Consider the Great Big Famous Idaho Potato…
- Would take more than 10,000 years to grow.
- Is 1,102 times heavier than the largest potato ever grown, which weighed 11 pounds.
- Would take two years and nine months to bake.
- Could make 30,325 servings of mashed potatoes and 1,455,570 average-sized fries!
- Folks who stop and see the truck are invited to take photos with this all-American icon.
To find out when the Great Big Idaho Potato Truck will be in a city near you, go to www.bigidahopotato.com. The Website provides in-depth information about the Truck, the IPC’s partnership with MOWAA and is updated regularly with tales and photos from the road. Information can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Check out the Great Big Idaho Potato Truck in-person at NRA Show 2012. If you haven't already registered for the NRA Show, go to www.restaurant.org/show. In addition to Twitter @NRAShow and Facebook, you can also join the NRA Show on Linkedin and YouTube.