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George Crum: How American chef invented potato chips

George Crum, an American chef invented potato chips in the 1850s while working at Moon’s Lake House, a restaurant in New York in the midst of a dinner rush.

Reports on the internet showed that he tried slicing the potatoes extra thin and dropping the slices into the deep hot fat of the frying pan.

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The potato chip was invented when a picky customer repeatedly sent back an order of french fries, complaining that they were too thick.

Frustrated with the customer’s demands, Crum sought revenge by slicing a batch of potatoes paper-thin, frying them to a crisp, and seasoning them with lots of salt.

Surprisingly, the customer loved them and soon enough, Crum and Moon’s Lake House became well-known for their special, dubbed “Saratoga chips.”

However, a number of notable accounts have disputed the story of Crum’s culinary innovation.

This is because recipes for frying thin potato slices had already been published in cookbooks by the early 1800s.

Further, several reports on Crum himself including a 1983 commissioned biography of the chef and his own obituary lacked any mention of potato chips.

At the time, visitors came from far and wide to Moon’s Lake House for a taste of the famous Saratoga chips until the owner of Moon’s Lake House later tried to claim credit for the invention and began producing and distributing potato chips in boxes.

Once Crum opened his own restaurant in the 1860s in Malta, New York, he provided every table with a basket of chips.

Crum’s chips remained a local delicacy until the 1920s when a salesman began traveling throughout the south and introducing potato chips to different communities.

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At that point, Crum’s legacy was overtaken by the mass production and distribution of potato chips on a national scale.

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