Potato chips

January 31, 2011
Potato chips (known as chips in American, Australian, Canadian, Singapore, South African, New Zealand and Indian English as well as most European languages; crisps in British and Irish English) are thin slices of potato that are deep fried. Potato chips are commonly served as an appetizer, side dish, or snack. The basic chips are cooked and salted; additional varieties are manufactured using various flavorings and ingredients including seasonings, herbs, spices, cheeses, and artificial additives. Crisps, however, refer to many different types of snack products in the UK and Ireland, some made from potato, but may also be made from corn, maize and tapioca. An example of these kinds of crisps is Monster Munch.
In the summer of 1853, Native American George Crum was employed as a chef at an elegant resort in Saratoga Springs, New York. One dinner guest found Crum's French fries too thick for his liking and rejected the order. Crum decided to rile the guest by producing fries too thin and crisp to skewer with a fork. The plan backfired. The guest was ecstatic over the browned, paper-thin potatoes, and other diners began requesting Crum's potato chips.
In 1969, General Mills and Proctor & Gamble introduced fabricated potato chips, Chipos and Pringles®, respectively. They were made from potatoes that had been cooked, mashed, dehydrated, reconstituted into dough, and cut into uniform pieces. They further differed from previous chips in that they were packaged into breakproof, oxygen-free canisters. The Potato Chip Institute (now the Snack Food Association) filed suit to prevent General Mills and Proctor & Gamble from calling their products chips. Although the suit was dismissed, the USDA did stipulate that the new variety must be labeled as "potato chips made from dried potatoes." Although still on the market, fabricated chips have never achieved the popularity of the original.

Today, potato chips are the most popular snack in the United States. According to the Snack Food Association, potato chips constitute 40% of snack food consumption, beating out pretzels and popcorn in spite of the fact that hardly anyone thinks potato chips are nutritious. Nonetheless, the major challenge faced by manufacturers in the 1990s was to develop a tasty low-fat potato chip.

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