National Potato Chip Day falls on March 14th.
One of the world’s all-time favorite snacks, the high-fat and high-sodium potato chip is also famous for having almost zero nutritional value.
Fortunately, there is a way to eat this treat and stay true to your whole food, plant-based lifestyle.
But before we share an oil-free potato chip recipe, let’s discover a bit more about this beloved snack food.
History of Potato Chips
At its most basic, a potato chip (known in England as a crisp) is a thinly sliced potato that has been cooked until crunchy and then seasoned with salt and other flavorings.
There is some dispute regarding the origins of the potato chip.
The most famous legend took place in the dining room of Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga Springs, New York in 1853.
One of the guests was Cornelius Vanderbilt, a well-known, wealthy steamship owner. Vanderbilt was unhappy with the French fries he was being served, complaining they were too thick. This made the chef angry and, to show his displeasure with Vanderbilt, he decided to shave extremely thin pieces of potato, place them into hot oil and fry them. He sent the charred, brittle pieces of potatoes back to the table, assuming Vanderbilt would be insulted. Instead, Vanderbilt loved them!
The new snack, which was eventually called Saratoga Chips, soon became famous.
Some doubt has been cast about whether this was indeed the beginning of the potato chip. For example, a recipe similar to Crum’s called Potatoes Fried in Slices or Shavings can be found 30 years earlier in the 1822 edition of the Cook’s Oracle written by William Kitchiner.
However the tradition of the potato chip started, the popularity of the snack is undeniable, greatly fueled by the fact they began to be mass-produced in the 20th century.
Today Americans alone consume 1.5 billion pounds of potato chips annually.
Fun Facts About Potato Chips
Here are some fun facts about potato chips and potatoes:
- To make 3 pounds of potato chips, you need 10 pounds of potatoes.
- The first ever flavor of potato chip was salt and vinegar.
- The humble potato was the first vegetable to be grown in outer space.
- The average person in the US eats about 140 pounds of potatoes every year.
- Potatoes from Pennsylvania are considered the best ones for making potato chips.
A great way to enjoy National Potato Chip Day is to prepare home-style potato chips with this recipe for Oil-Free Potato Chips.
Who says that potato chips must be bad for you? Cooked the right way, they can be a nutritious and extremely satisfying snack.