As producers of crisps fit for a king! We decided it was only fitting to look into the history of one of the most popular savoury snacks on the planet!
According to The Museum of Crisps, the global potato crisp market is forecasted to grow by 4.3% annually, ultimately being worth $44.2billion by the end of 2025.
With several inconclusive hypotheses floating around, pinpointing the precise year the potato crisp snack was born isn’t easy. However, along the way, there are a few intriguing theories and claims that assist to construct a picture of the origin of potato crisps.
Who Invented Crisps?
It’s safe to suggest that there is some confusion when it comes to answering this question due to the conflicting reports found on the internet. However, the first documented crisp recipe was William Kitchiner’s potato crisp dish from his 1817 book, The Cook’s Oracle. The amateur British cook’s recipe included adding a light dusting of salt – a nod to the popular ready salted crisp flavour that many still know and love today.
Where was the potato chip invented?
In terms of the mass production of the potato crisp, the US firm Mikesell’s Potato Chip Company, claims that in 1910 they commenced the initial industrial production of potato crisps in Ohio. A decade later, the Smiths Potato Company, located in the United Kingdom, experimented with adding salt to their potato snack, a method that became popular with public houses since the salt made consumers thirstier, resulting in an increase in beer sales.
Tantalising Consumers Taste Buds
For quite some time the potato crisp was consumed only with a sprinkle of salt. Nonetheless, flavouring branched out further in Ireland when Tayto’s owner, Joe ‘Spud’ Murphy, devised the technology to add flavouring during the manufacturing process. Consequently, 1954 saw the launch of the world’s first flavoured potato snack – cheese and onion. In contrast, potato chip flavours in the US didn’t begin to evolve until the 1970’s, with BBQ and original plain flavoured chips being the only available flavours until this time.
Crisp flavours have soared to new heights over the decades, with flavours including salt and pepper, prawn cocktail, beef, chicken, and even tomato ketchup.
The Legend of Saratoga Chips
The heavily debated 1853 Saratoga Chips myth is still peaking crisp enthusiasts’ interests. The myth tells the story of a defiant chef who unintentionally created a much loved potato crisp. A disgruntled diner at Moon Lake House had ordered a meal with french fries. When served the plate of food, the diner, Cornelius Vanderbilt, sent them back to the kitchen claiming that they were cut too thick. The chef, George Crum, was infuriated by this and consequently proceeded to shave the potato as thinly as possible before cooking in hot oil, as an insult to Mr Vanderbilt. To George Crum’s surprise, Mr Vanderbilt hailed the potato snack as a success and in turn, Moon Lake House established the popular potato snack as their signature dish.
However, over the years online articles such as one by the JSTOR Daily, have debunked this tale, claiming that the myth falsely accuses Mr Vanderbilt of being a “difficult diner” and that he was in fact travelling across Europe at this time with his family.
Crisps Fit for a King Courtesy of The King’s Deli
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