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Facts about potato chips

Potato chips in bags, containers and even a vending machine!
Potato chips in bags, containers and even a vending machine!
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Potato chips are arguably the most popular and beloved snack in the world. Referred to as “crisps” in much of Europe and Oceania, potato chips are a go-to way to relieve hunger when you cannot make time to sit down and eat a full meal. Potato chips come in a variety of flavors but they are usually cooked and salted. They are generally served as snacks, appetizers or side dishes and they are frequently sold in bags at mostly any convince store or supermarket.

Potato chips are very popular snacks.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Potato chips were invented in Saratoga Springs, New York, in 1878 by a man named George Crum. George was working a chef and crafted the first potato chips out of frustration after a picky customer repeatedly returned his French fries to the kitchen citing that they were too thick for his liking. To quell the customer’s complaints, George Crum decided to whittle down the potato chips and make them so thin that they didn’t have to be eaten with a fork. George Crum’s culinary invention was a success with many customers and, in 1910, a Dayton Ohio business called “Mike-sell's Potato Chip Company” became the first place to sell potato chips. Originally, the chips were sold in tin cans or glass bins.

Today, the potato chip industry is thriving globally. In the United States alone it reportedly employs over 60,000 people and potato chips are found in over 70% of lunchboxes of children who live in the United Kingdom. Tastes also vary from place to place. For example, Americans prefer original, barbecue and sour cream & onion samples while English consumers favor ready salted, cheese & onion and salt & vinegar.

Below are some quick and fun facts about potato chips:

• Walkers UK Crisps is a popular brand of chips in the UK. In the USA a company called Wise has the monopoly.

• Walkers UK Crisps include a Carbon Footprint label on their Crisps. The carbon footprint of a standard packet of Walkers Crisps is 75g.

• Walkers UK Crisps produces 10m packs of crisps every day, using more than 350,000 tons of potatoes a year, for the UK market alone.

• Studies have revealed that people in the UK eat about a ton of crisps every three minutes. This would be enough to fill a telephone box every 43 seconds and an Olympic sized swimming pool every 14 hours.

• The man that invented the Pringles can, Fredric J. Baur, died in May 2008 and his cremated ashes were buried in a Pringles can!