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All About Potato Chips

Mar 09, 2015

If your stomach is rumbling and you feel a salty snack attack coming on, chances are high you’ll reach for a bag of potato chips to satisfy your munchies - whether you’re all about All-Dressed or dying for Dill and Sour Cream, potato chips are a snack time fave for everyone, but how much do you really know about them? March 14th is National Potato Chip Day and Kidzworld has the scoop in All About Potato Chips!

Potato Past

All About Potato ChipsMarch 14th is National Potato Chip Day!Courtesy of steamykitchen.com

Rumor has it potato chips date all the way back to 1853, where a hotel chef in Saratoga Springs, New York, George Crum, set his mind to figuring out how to please a difficult patron who constantly sent back his fried potatoes for being too soggy. Crum decided to slice the potatoes as thin as possible and deep fry them until they were extra crispy. His new potatoes instantly became a smash hit and were added as a regular feature on the hotel menu as “Saratoga Chips.”

Crunch Creation

Smith's created the first grease-proof potato chip bag in the 1920'sSmith's created the first grease-proof potato chip bag in the 1920's

By the 20th century chips had gone from fine dining delicacy to stay-at-home snack. Ohio-based business Mike-Sells Potato Chips was founded in 1910, and claims it is the “oldest potato chip company in the United States” although there are a couple other companies who claim they got there first. People would buy chips in tins or have the amount they wanted scooped out from a glass storefront at the market, but this left the chips at the bottom of the tins to get stale very quickly, until California businesswoman and chip innovator Laura Scudder came up with the idea of packaging them in wax paper and ironing both ends shut, creating the first bag of chips! With the invention of the chip bag it became easier to mass produce the popular snack, while keeping the crispiness and flavor fresh.

Flavor to Savor

Potato chips were revamped with the addition of seasonings in the 1950s!Potato chips were revamped with the addition of seasonings in the 1950s!

It was until the 1950s that people felt this particular potato product was lacking lustre and could use something to spice it up. But what could be missing? Seasoning of course! Irish chip entrepreneur Joe “Spud” Murphy developed the technology to add salty seasonings to chips, and although his first few attempts weren’t winners he hit jackpot and successfully went to market with two original flavors: Salt and Vinegar and Cheese and Onion! Murphy had added a much-missing magic to potato chips, and savory seasonings swept the industry. Different flavors are popular depending on what country you live in, for example in Egypt one of the most popular flavors is “kebab”!

Junk Food Failings

Potato chips aren’t perfect, as any food official can tell you. They may seem like the perfect snack, but many nutritionists have concerns about how healthy they really are. Many people warn that they aren’t very healthy due to being deep fried in oils and having artificial flavors and elements added. If you have a poor diet or need to lose weight they may not be the best snack option. In efforts to become more health-savvy some chip companies offer baked chips and provide the nutritional content on the bag, and some have even started making chips from more vitamin packed veggies like turnips and beets!

Fun Facts: Flavors Around The World!

  • In Britain potato chips are called “crisps” (and they say “chips” when they mean fries!)
  • In Germany the most popular flavor is Paprika
  • Indian chips are often exotic spices used in curries, like Masala, Coriander and Red Chili
  • In Indonesia they make chips from Cassava
  • In Greece, Oregano is the most popular flavor
  • Japanese chip-eaters enjoy Seaweed, Wasabi, and Soy Sauce & Butter chips!

Have Your Say

What’s your fave flavor of potato chips? Let us know in the comments section below!

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