Lessons from the past – Potato Bites

In this ‘lessons from the past’ series we have already spoken about the interesting origins of some of our favourite foods.  While several ingredients we spoke about have colonial pasts surrounded by mystery and speculation the invention of potato chips is a clear cut and almost funny story which is definitely worth a read.

Potato Chips

A chip on your shoulder

Who doesn’t love potato chips? Thin, crisp and fried to perfection, a bag of potato chips is a clear crowd pleaser! People may think that the potato chip is a result of years of experiments and innovation in the kitchen, but in reality it was produced in a fit of indignation. The story dates back to 1853 in Saratoga, New York, when an American Indian Chef, George Crum, was delivering an order of the standard French fries to a customer. This customer however, was unhappy with them as he said they are too thick and sent back the order. Chef Crum then cut up a slightly thinner batch and sent them out, which too were returned. This did not go down very well with Chef Crum and he decided to irk the customer by cutting the potatoes as thinly as he could, so they could not even be picked up by a fork. These chips were served to the customer who completely loved them, much to the surprise of the chef. These thin, crispy deep-fried slices of potatoes soon gained much popularity and were known as Saratoga chips. They began featuring on the menus of several restaurants in and around the area. Later, when Chef George Crum started his own restaurant called Crumbs house, these potato chips were served complimentary at every table!

The humble potato chip has since then been one of the world’s favourite form for munchies. Its popularity continues to grow because as you might have heard and probably also know from first-hand experience that – no one can eat just one!

You don’t have to feel guilty about cheating on your diet while eating potato chips. You can just as easily bake them in an oven tray instead of deep-frying them in oil. Then customize the seasonings to your specifications. My favorites are a hot peri-peri or a cool mix of dried mint and salt – depending upon my mood. What’s yours? Leave a comment below


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