March 14, 2023 – Potato Chips

Happy National Potato Chip Day! While recipes for frying potato slices were published in cookbooks in the 19th century, according to legend, potato chips were invented here in New York state! The story goes that the first plate of chips was served at a restaurant in Saratoga Springs in 1853. A wealthy business magnate kept sending his food back to the kitchen, unhappy with the texture of the fried potatoes he had ordered. Out of frustration, the chef decided to slice up potatoes super thin, fry them to a crisp, and heavily salt them. To his surprise, the customer loved them, and they soon became known as “Saratoga Chips”. Before chips were mass-produced, they were sold at small mom-and-pop shops, served out of barrels or from behind glass counters. But in the 1920s, Laura Scudder, who owned a potato chip company in California, started paying her employees to bring home sheets of wax paper to iron into bags. The bags were filled with chips at the factory the next day. This kept the chips fresher and crisper for longer, and allowed them to become a mass-market product. If you’ve ever wondered why your potato chip bag is only half full, there’s a good reason. It’s to provide some cushioning and prevent breakage. Americans eat around 1.85 billion pounds of chips annually – that’s around 6.6 pounds per person! The top 5 flavors are: Plain, barbeque, sour cream & onion, salt & vinegar, and cheese. Learn more here.