The history of the potato chip is a rather unexpected tale. There are several different origin tales for everyone favorite snack, but the one we like the most involves a particularly irate American chef.
It is the mid-19th century, and French fries are considered a fancy delicacy in America. George Crum, a chef at Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga Springs, found himself facing a peculiar challenge.
A customer, possibly Cornelius Vanderbilt, repeatedly returned his fries, complaining about their lack of crispiness. In a fit of frustration, Crum decided to slice the potatoes paper-thin and fry them until they were exceptionally crisp.
This unique act of revenge, coupled with the dining etiquette of the time, where using hands was discouraged, led to an unintended outcome. Patrons embraced Crum’s thin, crispy potato slices, later known as Saratoga Chips.
These chips quickly became a local favorite and eventually gained global popularity. George Crum even opened his own restaurant, where baskets of chips adorned every table. The potato chip’s origin, marked by a moment of culinary experimentation, continues to be a beloved snack today.
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Top image: Potato chips. Source: colnihko / Adobe Stock.