A potato chip (American English) or crisp (British English) is a thin slice of potato that has been deep
"Crisps", however, may also refer to many different types of savory snack products sold in the United Kingdom and Ireland, some made from potato, but some made from corn, tapioca, or other cereals, just as other varieties of chips are consumed in the United States.
Potato chips are a predominant part of the snack food market in Western countries. The global potato chip market generated total revenues of US$16.49 billion in 2005. This accounted for 35.5% of the total savory snacks market in that year ($46.1 billion).
The earliest known recipe for potato chips is in William Kitchiner's 1822 cookbook The Cook's Oracle, a bestseller in England and the United States; its recipe for "Potatoes fried in Slices or Shavings" reads "peel large potatoes, slice them about a quarter of an inch thick, or cut them in shavings round and round, as you would peel a lemon; dry them well in a clean cloth, and fry them in lard or dripping".
Early recipes for potato chips in the United States are found in Mary Randolph's Virginia House-Wife (1824), and in N.K.M. Lee's Cook's Own Book (1832), both of which explicitly cite Kitchiner.
Nonetheless, a legend associates the creation of potato chips with Saratoga Springs, New York, decades later. By the late 19th century, a popular version of the story attributed the dish to George Crum, a half African, half Native American cook at Moon's Lake House, who was trying to appease an unhappy customer on August 24, 1853. The customer kept sending his French-fried potatoes back, complaining that they were too thick. Frustrated, he sliced the potatoes razor thin, fried them until crisp and seasoned them with extra salt. To Crum's surprise, the customer loved them. They soon became called "Saratoga Chips", a name that persisted into at least the mid-20th century. A version of this story popularized in a 1973 national advertising campaign by St. Regis Paper Company, which manufactured packaging for chips, said that Crum's customer was Cornelius Vanderbilt. Crum was renowned as a chef and by 1860 owned his own lakeside restaurant, Crum's House.
In the 20th century, potato chips spread beyond chef-cooked restaurant fare and began to be mass-produced for home consumption. The Dayton, Ohio-based Mike-sell's Potato Chip Company, founded in 1910, identifies as the "oldest potato chip company in the United States". New England-based Tri-Sum Potato Chips, originally founded in 1908 as the Leominster Potato Chip Company, in Leominster, Massachusetts claim to be America's first potato chip manufacturer. Chips sold in markets were usually sold in tins or scooped out of storefront glass bins and delivered by horse and wagon. The early potato chip bag was wax paper with the ends ironed or stapled together. At first, potato chips were packaged in barrels or tins, which left chips at the bottom stale and crumbled.
Laura Scudder, an entrepreneur in Monterey Park, California, started having her workers take home sheets of wax paper to iron into the form of bags, which were filled with chips at her factory the next day. This pioneering method reduced crumbling and kept the chips fresh and crisp longer. This innovation, along with the invention of cellophane, allowed potato chips to become a mass-market product. Today, chips are packaged in plastic bags, with nitrogen gas blown in prior to sealing to lengthen shelf life, and provide protection against crushing.
Traditional chips were made by the "batch-style" process, where all chips are fried all at once at a low
In an idea originated by the Smiths Potato Crisps Company Ltd, formed in 1920, Frank Smith
|An advertisement for Smith's Potato Crisps|
The potato chip remained otherwise unseasoned until an innovation by Joe "Spud" Murphy, the owner of an Irish chip company called Tayto, who in the 1950s developed a technology to add seasoning during manufacture. After some trial and error, Murphy and his employee, Seamus Burke, produced the world's first seasoned chips: Cheese & Onion, Barbecue, and Salt & Vinegar. This innovation was notable in the food industry. Companies worldwide sought to buy the rights to Tayto's technique.
The first flavored chips in the United States, barbecue flavor, were being manufactured and sold by 1954. In 1958, Herr's was the first company to introduce barbecue-flavored potato chips in Pennsylvania.
In the United States, popular potato chip flavorings include sour cream and onion, dill pickle, barbecue, ranch dressing, salt and vinegar, cheddar, and lemon-lime. In the Gulf South, Zapp's Potato Chips of Gramercy, Louisiana, manufactures kettle-fried chips with regional flavors such as Crawtator, Cajun dill, Voodoo, and Creole onion.
Another type of potato chip, notably the Pringles and Lay's Stax brands, is made by extruding or
|Pringles potato chips are uniform in size and shape,|
An additional variant of potato chips exists in the form of "potato sticks", also called shoestring potatoes. These are made as extremely thin (2 to 3 mm) versions of the popular French fry, but are fried in the manner of regular salted potato chips. A hickory-smoke-flavored version is popular in Canada, going by the vending machine name "Hickory Sticks". Potato sticks are typically packaged in rigid containers, although some manufacturers use flexible pouches, similar to potato chip bags. Potato sticks were originally[when?] packed in hermetically sealed steel cans. In the 1960s, manufacturers switched to the less expensive composite canister (similar to the Pringles container). Reckitt Benckiser was a market leader in this category under the Durkee Potato Stix and French's Potato Sticks names, but exited the business in 2008. In 2014, French's reentered the market.
A larger variant (about 1 cm thick) made with dehydrated potatoes is marketed as Andy Capp's Pub Fries, using the theme of a long-running British comic strip, which are baked and sold in a variety of flavors. Walkers make a similar product (using the Smiths brand) called "Chipsticks" which are sold in ready-salted and salt and vinegar flavors.
Americans' appetite for crispy snacks gave birth to the packaged, flavored corn chips, with such brands as Fritos, CC's, and Doritos dominating the market. "Swamp chips" are similarly made from a variety of root vegetables, such as parsnips, rutabagas, and carrots. Japanese-style variants include extruded chips, like products made from rice or cassava. In South Indian snack cuisine, an item called happla in Kannada/vadam in Tamil, is a chip made of an extruded rice-sago or multigrain base that has been around for many centuries.
Many other products might be called "crisps" in Britain, but would not be classed as "potato chips" because they are not made with potato or are not chipped (for example, Wotsits, Quavers, Skips, Hula Hoops, and Monster Munch).
Kumara (sweet potato) chips are eaten in Korea, New Zealand, and Japan; parsnip, beetroot, and
|Flavored corn chips such as Fritos are an outgrowth of traditional fried tortilla chips.|