Let's celebrate that munchy, crunchy goodness! Today is...
|Saratoga Chips Recipe|
There is a lot of lore tied to the creation of the first potato chip, even an account connected to railroad magnate Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, one of the richest Americans in history. As legend has it, Vanderbilt was staying at a resort (Moon's Lake House) in Saratoga Springs, New York when upon receiving an order of French fries found himself quite dismayed. Complaints to George Crum, head chef, that the fries were "too thick and too soggy" angered the chef. In retaliation to wreak culinary vengeance, Crum "sliced potatoes paper-thin, fried them to a singed crisped brown, salted the living daylights out of them, and dumped them in front of the hard-to-please diner." Instead of getting back at the angered customer, the plan backfired. Vanderbilt tasted one of the crunchy tidbits, smiled, and cleaned his plate of the rest! Thus was born Saratoga Chips as they soon became to be well known.
|George Crum with "Aunt Kate" Weeks|
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org
A second version cites Crum's sister, Katie Speck Wicks, as the inventor of the chip in an accident not dissimilar to the culinary misfire in which the brownie was born (from a mix-up of cake and fudge). "Aunt Katie," who also worked at Moon's Lake House, was frying crullers and peeling potatoes at the same time. A thin slice of potato found its way into the frying oil for the crullers, and Katie fished it out. Noticing the chip, Crum tasted it and said, "Hm hm, that's good. How did you make it?" After Katie described the accident, Crum replied, "That's a good accident. We'll have plenty of these." [Source: Snopes.com]
Both accounts date back to the year 1853. However, versions of fried potato slices were published in several cookbooks much earlier, 1822, 1832, and 1877.
Saratoga Chips as a local delicacy remained popular until the Prohibition era. An enterprising salesman named Herman Lay popularized the product throughout the Southeast in 1932. Lay’s Potato Chips were the first big-name brand, but today one will find many other products on the market and a multitude of variations.
As for the holiday, it is not clear when or who first invented it, but chip in and join the celebrations. Invite some friends over to try some of the most unusual flavors, like seaweed, buffalo wing and ketchup. See if anyone dares to try and eat just one!
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