The First Potato Chip

A very short book excerpt

Joe McKendry

The potato chip is an American invention. Its exact origins are cloudy; the most famous story suggests it was born at the Moon Lake Lodge in Saratoga Springs, New York, in 1853, when a diner found his side dish of fried potatoes soggy. He sent them back to the kitchen. The chef, George Crum, made more, but the dish was rejected again. Crum did not appreciate being second-guessed. He thinly sliced some potatoes, threw them in the fryer, and sent the browned, crisped, salted chips out to his guest: the culinary equivalent of sarcasm. The dish was also delicious, and word spread. Soon chips were sold everywhere, from barrels in grocery stores and from horse-drawn carts. By the early 20th century, potato-chip factories dotted the eastern United States.

— Adapted from Tasty: The Art and Science of What We Eat (published in January by Scribner)