Last Friday was National Potato Chip day. Of course, we have so many subjects to write about, we just can’t get to all of them. So, let’s go back a few days so we can give proper recognition to the greatest and crunchiest snack food of all time.
Yes, we mean all time. The P-chip is America’s favorite snack food as we consume more than 1.2 billion pounds of chips each year, which just so happens to be more than ten times the weight of Egypt’s Great Pyramid. The potato chip was invented in 1853 by George Crum of Saratoga Springs, New York. Crum was a chef at Moon Lake Lodge where he prepared French-fried potatoes in the standard, thick-cut French style that was popularized in France and enjoyed by Thomas Jefferson as ambassador to that country.
At Moon Lake Lodge, a dinner guest found chef Crum’s French fries too thick and refused to eat them. Crum cut and fried a thinner batch, but the guest refused that batch, too. Crum decided to get back at the diner by serving French fries too thin and crisp to eat with a fork. The plan backfired. The guest loved the crispy, thin potatoes, and other guests began requesting Crum’s potato chips, which began to appear on the menu as Saratoga Chips, a house specialty.
Other highlights of the potato chip include the introduction of the Lay brand in 1932 by Herman Lay in Nashville, Tennessee. Today, retail sales far exceed $6 billion annually, and the industry employs a mind-boggling 65,000 people. Keep on eating potato chips and we’ll see more people employed.
But if you want to try your hand at making chips at home, you’d be surprised at how easy it is. Some recipes are extremely healthy, and not very time consuming like this microwavable recipe that’s one of our favorites: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-crispy-potato-chips-in-the-microwave-166718. And here’s another version for making potato chips in your oven at home: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/oven-fried_potato_chips/.
As wonderful as potato chips are by themselves, they go together with dips just like bread and butter, milk and cookies and baked potatoes and sour cream. So, for your eating pleasure, we wanted to include two dip recipes that are really terrific. The first is a classic chip dip recipe that your entire family will enjoy: http://www.saucydipper.com/2047/classic-potato-chip-dip/. And if you’re a little more adventurous and have some extra time on your hands, try this potato and sweet potato chip and dip recipe from the famous Emeril Lagasse: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/oven-fried-potato-and-sweet-potato-chips-with-creamy-oven-cooked-bacon-dip-recipe.html. We’ve tried this recipe and it’s exceptional.
Potato chips are truly an American invented snack food. It’s said that next to rice, potatoes are the most consumed food in the world, and a big part of that are potato chips. So keep on munching, crunching and enjoying. We can’t wait to grab a handful ourselves.