Where Did Potato Chips Come From?

August 1, 2015 | Christina

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Potato Chips

(Attribution: Evan-Amos via Wikimedia Commons

Potato chips are a favourite snack of many people. Do you know how they were invented?

In the summer of 1853, George Crum began cooking at Moon's Lake house, a resort in Saratoga Springs, New York.  At that time, conventional fried potatoes in the United States were thicker and meant to be eaten with a fork. A customer sent George Crum's fried potatoes back to the kitchen, calling them "soggy and too thick".

The potatoes were re-cut but the customer still thought they were too thick. George Crum was furious.  He sliced the potatoes "razor thin" and fried them until they were "completely crisp".

According to Howstuffworks.com, Mr. Crum's revenge scheme didn't go as planned. The customer loved the crispy potato chips. In fact, "everyone loved them, and the dish became a house specialty called Saratoga Chips".

Today, "potato chips are everywhere and come in thousands of flavors, from plain old salted to curry and caramel. Potatoes are one of the most widely consumed foods in the world, second only to rice, and that's mostly due to potato chips and their culinary cousin, the French fry".

To discover the market share in relation to this popular snack or other products, check out the Market Share Reporter in the Toronto Public Library's online database Gale Directory Library. In the Basic Search box, type in 'potato chip' as a keyword.  Limit the results to data from the current editions only.  Click on Search.  Under Directories, select Market Share Reporter.  Three lists may be of interest:

  • Top Potato Chip Brands, 2013
  • Top Potato Chip Makers, 2013
  • Top Potato Chip/Crisp Brands Worldwide, 2012

 An active, Toronto Public Library card is required to access the database.