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A different sweet potato

Candy boasts plenty of potatoes and lots of confectioners' sugar

Candy boasts plenty of potatoes and lots of confectioners' sugar

October 10, 2007|By JULIE E. GREENE

Potato candy is sugary sweet for a good reason: It contains a lot of sugar - confectioners' sugar.

There are potatoes in there, and they're the real deal.

In other words, instant potatoes have no place in potato candy, Alsetta Broadway said.

And she ought to know. Broadway has been making potato candy for 13 years, selling it at Hagerstown's City Farmers Market on West Church Street. She uses an old Pennsylvania Dutch recipe that has been handed down via word of mouth.

Betty Smith has found lots of people enjoy potato candy, which is a mix of potato dough with peanut butter spread on it. It's rolled up and sliced.

"Children go crazy about it," said Smith 78, of Hagerstown.

Smith buys 15 packs of potato candy every week from Beverly Faith, who also sells potato candy at the City Farmers Market. For about 10 years, Smith has given the candy to waiters, busboys, the mail carrier, nurses - people who do nice things for her, she said.

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Faith, 71, of Hagerstown, has been selling the candy at the market for about six years.

She first had potato candy as a child in North Carolina.

"Kids always liked it," said Faith, whose recipe includes vanilla, salt, butter and evaporated milk.

Lots of people make potato candy with leftover mashed potatoes, Faith said.

Faith usually makes her potato candy with fresh mashed potatoes. The candy doesn't taste as good with instant potatoes, she said.

Instead of boiling her potatoes to mash them, Faith pokes a hole in a potato and wraps it in a paper towel. Then she heats it in a microwave for five minutes on one side and five minutes on the other side. She removes the skin before mixing in the other ingredients.

It doesn't take long to make, but it does require some manual labor as the potato dough needs to be mixed and kneaded before being rolled out.

Broadway, 78, of Hagerstown, learned to make potato candy to supplement her Social Security income as a retiree. She makes about 120 pieces every Friday to sell at the market Saturday, often selling out.

"If you love sweet, you love potato candy," Broadway said.

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