Salty in Saratoga: Marking the anniversary of the potato chip - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Salty in Saratoga: Marking the anniversary of the potato chip

A chef's thin-skinned patience with a customer is said to be the inspiration for the potato chip. (Source: Evan A./Wiki Commons) A chef's thin-skinned patience with a customer is said to be the inspiration for the potato chip. (Source: Evan A./Wiki Commons)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

As some tell the story, an aggravated chef dealing with a particularly unsatisfied customer helped make snack food history 161 years ago.

On Aug. 23, 1853, at Moon's Lake House near Saratoga Springs, New York, chef George Crum was irritated at a customer who kept sending back his plate of fried potatoes, saying they were too thick and soggy.

Crum decided to slice potatoes wafer-thin and stir-fry them. The resulting dish was very crispy and slightly browned. Certainly, the chef reasoned, he would hear no more complaints about limp and soggy potatoes!

The customer was delighted, and the legend of the so-called Saratoga chip was born.

The true origin of the potato chip is unknown, but they are of course descended from French fries, the introduction of which to America is credited to Thomas Jefferson.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the snack food industry, including potato chips, brings in more than $24 billion per year, across 612 establishments in the country.

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