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Black History fact: Potato chips were invented by an African American

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According to Enchanted Learning, a site that charts inventions, the potato chip was invented in 1853 by George Crum.

Crum was a Native American/African American chef at the Moon Lake Lodge resort in Saratoga Springs, New York.

French fries were popular at the restaurant during that time, and one day a diner complained that the fries were too thick. Although Crum made a thinner batch, the customer was still unsatisfied. The chef kept slicing them thinner, then fried them to a crisp, and seasoned them heavily with salt. By then, they were too thin to eat with a fork. Crum expected the fussy customer to dislike them, but the man praised them highly. So the potato chips were invented by accident. The chips became popular and subsequently became known as "Saratoga chips" or "potato crunches."

The evolution of the potato chip

  • Crum accidentally invented the potato chip in 1853 and called them Saratoga chips and potato crunches.
  • The chips were packaged and sold in New England.
  • Crum later opened his own restaurant in 1860 and continued to sell the chips.
  • William Tappendon manufactured and marketed the chips in Cleveland, Ohio in 1895.
  • Salesman Herman Lay sold potato chips from the trunk of his car in southern USA in the 1920s.
  • Laura Scudder, who owned a potato chip factory in Monterey Park, California invented a wax paper potato chip bag to keep the chips fresh and crunchy in 1926. The bag made the potato chips even more popular.
  • Today the global potato chip market generates total revenues over $16.4 billion. This accounts for 35.5% of the total savory snacks market of $46.1 billion.

Now doesn't this just make you want to eat some potato chips?


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