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Sunday, 10 August 2014

Crisps (or Potato Chips)

A part Native Indian chef George Crum invented potato crisps (potato chips) by accident in 1852, thanks to a fussy customer. Industrialist Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt came to the Moon Lake House Hotel in Saratoga Springs, New York, and ordered “thinner than normal French fried potatoes.” He kept sending them back to Crum, protesting that they were too thick. Finally, out of spite the chef sliced the potatoes paper-thin, so that he wouldn’t be able to eat them with a fork then, fried them to a crisp in oil, and splashed salt on them. Vanderbilt loved them. These "potato crunches” as Crum called them became a regular feature of the hotel’s menu.

Crum called his crisps “potato crunches” but they became known as “Saratoga chips”.

Potato crisps were introduced to England in 1913. A Mr. Carter discovered them in France and he set up a company, Carter’s Crisps to manufacture the snack.

A Mrs. Scudder, the owner of a potato crisp factory, came up in 1926 with a waxed-paper crisp bag, which kept the crisps fresh inside. Every evening, her women employees took home sheets of waxed paper and made them into bags. The next day the workers hand packed chips into the bags, sealed the tops with warm irons and delivered them to retailers. These freshly crisp potato crisps quickly became popular.

The earliest known use of the word “crisp” for such thin, fried potatoes was in 1929.

Golden Wonder introduced cheese and onion flavoured crisps in 1962. They were the first British company to add flavours to crisps.

In 1969 The Proctor and Gamble Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, decided to take the technology for producing soap and apply it to potato chips. The result was Pringles potato chips.

Pringles chips (sour cream and onion flavor) By Glane23 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, $3

Pringles are technically not potato chips but a slurry of rice, wheat, corn, and some potato flakes.

Pringles chips are named after a street in Finneytown, a tiny Cincinnati suburb.

In 1981 hedgehog flavored crisps were launched as a joke, and the snack was a huge success. However, Hedgehog Foods Ltd was in court a year later on a charge of false advertising as the flavor came from bacon flat.

The name “Doritos” originally referred to their un-dusted color and means “little golden things.”

When Fredric Baur of Cincinnati died aged 89 in 2008, his cremated remains were put in a Pringles can and put in his grave according to his wishes...Baur had invented the Pringles container and the method of packaging the curved crisps in it.

Corker's Crisps in Ely, Cambridgeshire, unveiled the world’s biggest bag of crisps in September 2013. Its weight, excluding the bag, was 1,140kg. The number of crisps in the bag was estimated to be 826,000, which took 15 hours to cook.

The world's largest collection of empty crisp packets went on display at a museum in Vreden, Germany, in 2008. It included 2,000 packets.

It takes two whole bath tubs worth of water (or 159 litres) to turn a potato into a packet of crisps.

Statistics reveal that 69 per cent of British children’s lunchboxes have crisps in them.

Crisps (potato chips) are labelled "ready salted" because old-fashioned crisps came with a little bag of salt, which the consumer could choose whether or not to use.

The word “crisp” starts at the back of your mouth and ends at the front.

To restore the crunchiness of potato chips, place them in paper towels inside the microwave and cook them for about 20 seconds.

The extra air in potato chip bags that we whine about, really serves a purpose. It's Nitrogen and avoids the chips from breaking.


Potato chips are America's favorite snack food, devoured at a rate of 1.2 billion pounds a year.

Sources Daily Express, Food For Thought by Ed Pearce

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