Saratoga Springs, New York, is famous as the birthplace of the potato chip. The story goes that in 1853, railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt dined at at Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga Springs and sent back his fried potatoes because they weren’t thin enough. Chef George Crum maliciously compiled with Vanderbilt’s demand, and fried up super-thin potato slices until they were extra crispy. But Vanderbilt loved them, and the potato chip was born. Crum opened his own restaurant, and became famous for his chips.
Since then, earlier recipes for the same dish were found, but Crum’s chips caused people to make the pilgrimage to Sarasota Springs to try them. That was just the beginning of the story, as other people made the snack accessible to all, from the Ohio man who got them into grocery stores, to the California woman who bagged them for freshness, to the movie star who dared us to try to eat just one. Read the history of the potato chip -or chips, since you can’t eat just one- at Smithsonian.
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