Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Chocolate Covered Potato Chips: National Potato Chip Day
I love Potato Chips. No wonder. It's America's #1 Snack Food. I grew up with Wise Potato Chips, probably because they were locally made. Here's a bit of Potato Chip history from Food History. If you haven't visited this website, it's a must. So much information.
As a world food, potatoes are second in human consumption only to rice. And as thin, salted, crisp chips, they are America's favorite snack food. Potato chips originated in New England as one man's variation on the French-fried potato, and their production was the result not of a sudden stroke of culinary invention but of a fit of pique.
In the summer of 1853, Native American George Crum was employed as a chef at an elegant resort in Saratoga Springs, New York. On Moon Lake Lodge's restaurant menu were French-fried potatoes, prepared by Crum in the standard, thick-cut French style that was popularized in 1700s France and enjoyed by Thomas Jefferson as ambassador to that country. Ever since Jefferson brought the recipe to America and served French fries to guests at Monticello, the dish was popular and serious dinner fare.
At Moon Lake Lodge, one dinner guest found chef Crum's French fries too thick for his liking and rejected the order. Crum cut and fried a thinner batch, but these, too, met with disapproval. Exasperated, Crum decided to rile the guest by producing French 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 requested Crum's potato chips, which began to appear on the menu as Saratoga Chips, a house specialty.
In 1860 George opened his own restaurant in a building on Malta Avenue near Saratoga Lake, and within a few years was catering to wealthy clients including William Vanderbilt, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jay Gould, and Henry Hilton. His restaurant closed around 1890 and he died in 1914 at the age of 92.
The idea of making them as a food item for sale in grocery stores came to many people at around the same time, but perhaps the first was William Tappendon of Cleveland, OH, in 1895. He began making chips in his kitchen and delivering to neighborhood stores but later converted a barn in the rear of his house into "one of the first potato chip factories" in the country.
At that time, potatoes were tediously peeled and sliced by hand. It was the invention of the mechanical potato peeler in the 1920s that paved the way for potato chips to soar from a small specialty item to a top-selling snack food. For several decades after their creation, potato chips were largely a Northern dinner dish.
In Monterey Park, California the Scudders company started making potato chips in 1926. Laura Scudder is credited with developing the wax paper bag for potato chips which made a wider distribution possible because of its preserving properties. Prior to this bag potato chips were dispensed in bulk from barrels or glass display cases.
In 1932, Herman Lay founded Lay's in Nashville, Tenn., which distributed potato chips from a factory in Atlanta, Ga. Herman Lay, a traveling salesman in the South, helped popularize the food from Atlanta to Tennessee. Lay peddled potato chips to Southern grocers out of the trunk of his car, building a business and a name that would become synonymous with the thin, salty snack. Lay's potato chips became the first successfully marketed national brand.
The industry that George Crum launched in 1853 continues to grow and prosper. Potato chips are America's favorite snack.
What are you favorite Potato Chips?
You can now buy Chocolate Covered Potato Chips, but you might want to make your own to celebrate National Potato Chip Day--or to celebrate St. Patrick's Day! To make either of the two Chocolate Dipped Potato Chips, be sure and choose a ridged potato chip. They're stronger and will work better. As always, use the very best chocolate for the very best results and taste! Depending on how you feel, you can dip or paint half or all of the chip. Here are two ways to do this. Lovely to have the salt and sweet.
Chocolate Covered Potato Chips I
24 ounces dark (65-75% cacao) chopped chocolate
16-ounce bag ridged potato chips
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside.
Melt chocolate in adouble boiler over simmering water or put chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl and microwave in one-minute increments until melted, stirring after every minute to prevent overheating.
Dip bristles of large pastry brush in melted chocolate and paint one side of potato chip with thin layer of chocolate. Place potato chip chocolate-side up on prepared baking sheet.
Repeat painting with remaining chocolate and chips.
Let chocolate covered chips set up.
Chips are best eaten soon right after made, to keep crunchiness of the chips.
Chocolate Covered Potato Chips II
1 pound dark chocolate, chopped
8 cups ridged potato chips
Prepare a cookie sheet with waxed paper.
Melt 3/4 of the chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water (or saucepan on top of saucepan)--or melt in microwave as above. Stir until chocolate melts. Add rest of chocolate and stir until melted.
Using tongs, dip potato chips one at a time into chocolate. Place on waxed paper starting at point farthest from you and working way in so you don't drip on finished chips.
Cool until set.
And here's a recipe for Double Chip Cookies from the
Wise Potato Chip Cookbook: Recipes that Pep Up Meals
Double Chip Cookies