An initiative of :




Wageningen University





Sitekeuring.NET Award


Food-Info.net> Questions and Answers > Food Products > Potato products

How were potato chips developed ?

As a world food, potatoes are second in human consumption only to rice. And as thin, salted, crisp chips, they are a favorite snack food. Potato chips originated in New England, USA, as one man's variation on the French-fried potato, and their production was the result not of a sudden stroke of culinary invention but of a fit of pique.

In the summer of 1853, George Crum was employed as a chef at an elegant resort in Saratoga Springs, New York, USA. On Moon Lake Lodge's restaurant menu were French-fried potatoes, prepared by Crum in the standard, thick-cut French style that was popularized in France in the 1700s and enjoyed by Thomas Jefferson as ambassador to that country. Ever since Jefferson brought the recipe to America and served French fries to guests at Monticello, the dish was popular and serious dinner fare.

At Moon Lake Lodge, one dinner guest (some sources say millionaire Vanderbilt) found chef Crum's French fries too thick for his liking and rejected the order. Crum cut and fried a thinner batch, but these, too, met with disapproval. Exasperated, Crum decided to rile the guest by producing French fries too thin and crisp to eat with a fork. The plan backfired. The guest was ecstatic over the browned, paper-thin potatoes, and other diners requested Crum's potato chips, which began to appear on the menu as Saratoga Chips, a house specialty.

Soon they were packaged and sold, first locally, then throughout the New England area. Crum eventually opened his own restaurant, featuring chips. At that time, potatoes were tediously peeled and sliced by hand. It was the invention of the mechanical potato peeler in the 1920s that paved the way for potato chips to soar from a small specialty item to a top-selling snack food.

For several decades after their creation, potato chips were largely a local North-East USA dinner dish.

In the 1920s, Herman Lay, a travelling salesman in the South, helped popularize the food. Lay peddled potato chips to Southern USA grocers out of the trunk of his car, building a business and a name that would become synonymous with the thin, salty snack. Lay's potato chips became the first successfully marketed national USA brand, and since the 1960s potato chips have become popular all over the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



European Masters Degree in Food Studies - an Educational Journey


Master in Food Safety Law



Food-Info.net is an initiative of Wageningen University, The Netherlands