The History Of The Potato Chip

Whether you call them chips or crisps, we're all familiar with this fan-favorite among snacks. The variety of flavors is endless, and almost everyone around the world loves them. But have you ever thought of how this snack actually came to be?

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The birth of the potato chip was in 1853 when a chef from New York named George Crum served up a meal for Cornelius Vanderbilt, who didn’t like the thick fries and sent them back to the kitchen. In response, Crum fried up some super-thin potato shavings, almost as an insult to his critic. But the chips were well received, and the world of snacking changed forever. 

As fascinating as this story may be, it’s actually not true. Historians still have no idea what the actual story is, but they suspect it’s more accurate to say that the chef helped popularize it, rather than inventing it. So, where did it come from?

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Even though he did not invent the potato chip, George Crum has had a part in making them popular. When Crum opened his restaurant, Crumbs House, one of the things that made it ridiculously popular was the basket of chips he put on each table. According to Snopes, Herman Lay was one of the first people to make potato chips into a commercial endeavor. And his product got a popularity boost thanks to a bizarre rumor. Rumors claimed the chips had a certain aphrodisiac quality, and that’s not the kind of claim the enterprising salesman would try to deny.