Walmart is selling “Idaho Potato Malted Milkshake and Fries” ice cream

This isn’t an advertisement for Walmart, although it might sound like one. It’s also not an advertisement for Van Leeuwen Ice Cream or the Idaho Potato Commission. It’s simply some information in which Idahoans might be interested. Let’s start with Van Leeuwen Ice Cream. Fifteen years ago, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream consisted solely of a yellow food truck operating on the streets of New York City selling scoops of ice cream. Then they started offering vegan ice cream and a bunch of unusual flavors. It worked. Pretty soon they had more trucks. Then they had “scoop shops”, which is what they call their ice cream parlors. Before long, they had 41 of those. Then the Van Leeuwen Ice Cream products started showing up in grocery stores. You can also get them shipped to you. Not long ago, the Van Leeuwen people (Ben Van Leeuwen, Pete Van Leeuwen and Laura O’Neill) got together with some of the folks at the Idaho Potato Commission, which has been promoting Idaho potatoes since 1937. The commission also is charged with protecting the “grown in Idaho” seal, which is a federally-registered certification mark assuring consumers that they’re purchasing genuine Idaho-grown potatoes. Those are the ones we advertise on our license plates. Together, Van Leeuwen and the Idaho Potato Commission created a new limited-edition flavor: Idaho Potato Malted Milkshake and Fries. Those of you with only a passing interest in ice cream might be wondering what a malted milkshake is, since most drive-in menus list shakes and malts separately. The dictionary says malts and shakes are both milkshakes, but a milkshake is just ice cream and milk, and a malt is ice cream, milk and malted milk powder. According to the Idaho Potato Commission, Malted Milkshake and Fries ice cream tastes just as it reads: like salty, crispy French fries dipped in a creamy malted shake. It’s different than the Western Idaho Fair staple ice cream potato, which is colored and shaped like a potato but is actually just vanilla and chocolate ice cream. They say that to emulate the taste of fresh French fries, Van Leeuwen’s in-house pastry team created French fry inserts using Idaho potato flakes. The flavor itself was introduced by the Van Leeuwen company in February, which even Idahoans might not know is National Potato Lover’s Month. But today is special, because starting today, you can purchase a pint of Van Leeuwen Idaho Potato Malted Milkshake and Fries at any of 3,500 different Walmart locations for $4.98. Seven other Van Leeuwen-created flavors will be hitting Walmart shelves today, too, including Honey Cornbread with Strawberry Jam, Sweet Potato Casserole, Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll, Cranberry Crumble, Apple Pie, Purple Velvet and Sticky Toffee Pudding. They’re all $4.98 a pint. Enjoy at will. By the way, when asked if there were any plans to manufacture a new license plate reading “Famous Potato Ice Cream”, a spokesperson for the Idaho Transportation Department said no.