and British English
) are thin slices of potato
that are deep fried
until crispy. Potato chips serve as an appetizer
, side dish
. Commercial varieties are packaged
for sale, usually in bags. The basic chips are cooked and salted
, and additional varieties are
manufactured using various flavorings and ingredients including
artificial additives. Chips are a major part of the snack food
market in English-speaking countries
and many other Western nations.
original potato chip recipe was created by George Crum, the son of an African American
father and Native American mother, in New York on August
Saratoga chips, the first potato
Fed up with a customer who continued to send his
fried potatoes back complaining that they were too thick and soggy,
Crum decided to slice the potatoes so thin that they could not be
eaten with a fork. As they could not be fried normally in a pan, he
decided to stir-fry the potato slices. Against Crum's expectation,
the guest was ecstatic about the new chips and they soon became a
regular item on the lodge's menu, under the name "Saratoga Chips."
eventually became popular throughout New York and New England.
One version of this story identifies
customer who wanted them thinner.
20th century, potato chips spread beyond chef-cooked restaurant
fare and began to be mass produced for home consumption; Dayton, Ohio-based Mike-sell's Potato
Chip Company, founded in 1910, calls itself the "oldest potato
chip company in the United
Chips sold at markets were usually sold in
tins or scooped out of storefront glass bins. The early potato chip
bag was wax paper with the ends ironed together.
There is little consistency in the English speaking world for names
of fried potato cuttings. American and Canadian-English uses
"chips" for the above mentioned dish—this term is also used (but
not universally) in other parts of the world, due to the influence
of American culture—and sometimes "crisps" for the same made from
batter, and "French fries
" for the hot
crispy batons with a soft core. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, "crisps"
are the brittle slices eaten at room temperature and 'chips' refer
to the hot dish (as in "fish and
chips"). In Australia,
Zealand and some parts of South
Africa, both forms of potato product are simply known as
"chips", as are the larger "home-style" potato crisps.
Sometimes the distinction is made between "hot chips" (fried
potatoes) and "packet crisps", or simply "potato chips" in
Australia and New Zealand.
The global potato chips market generated total revenues of US$16.4
billion in 2005. This accounted for 35.5% of the total savory
snacks market in that year (US$46.1 billion).
Initially, chips went unseasoned until a twist of salt was placed
inside the bag, to be added when required. This idea was originated
by the Smiths Potato
Ltd formed in 1920. Frank Smith originally
packaged them in greaseproof paper bags which were then sold around
The potato chip remained otherwise unseasoned until an innovation
by Joe "Spud
" Murphy (1923–2001), the owner of an Irish
crisp company called Tayto
, who developed a
technology to add seasoning during manufacture in the 1950s. Though
he had a small company, consisting almost entirely of his immediate
family who prepared the crisps, the owner had long proved himself
an innovator. After some trial and
, he produced the world's first seasoned crisps, Cheese
& Onion and Salt & Vinegar.
An advertisement for Smith's Potato
The innovation became an overnight sensation in the food industry,
with the heads of some of the biggest potato chip companies in the
United States heading to the small Tayto company to examine the
product and to negotiate the rights to use the new technology. When
eventually the Tayto company was sold, it made the owner and the
small family group who had changed the face of potato chip
manufacturing very wealthy. Companies worldwide sought to buy the
rights to Tayto's technique.
The Tayto innovation changed the whole nature of the potato chip,
and led to the end of Smith's twist of salt. (Walkers
revived the idea of "salt in a
bag", following their take over of Smith's (UK) in 1979, with their
Salt 'n' Shake potato crisps.) Later chip manufacturers added
natural and artificial seasonings to potato chips, with varying
degrees of success. A product that had had a large appeal to a
limited market on the basis of one seasoning now had a degree of
numbers of seasonings. Various other seasonings of chips are sold
in different locales, including the original "Cheese and Onion",
produced by Tayto, which remains by far Ireland's biggest
manufacturer of crisps.
Perhaps the most extreme version of seasoned chips were the fruit
flavored chips that were (very) briefly sold in Canada in the late
seventies (in orange, cherry and grape flavors). These were not a
success, and they were rapidly discontinued.
Examples of regional varieties
Hedgehog flavored crisps
- In the US, the most popular forms of seasoned potato chips
include "sour cream and onion", "barbecue", "ranch",
salt & vinegar, and cheese-seasoned
chips, including nacho flavor and
cheddar (usually with sour
cream). In the Chesapeake Bay area,
Utz distributes Beer Chips,
which are flavored with beer; and "crab chips", flavored with an
Old Bay analogue seasoning but containing no
actual crab. Pennsylvania-based Herr's has a similar "Old Bay"
variety. Herr's also produces a ripple chip featuring Heinz ketchup
Louisiana, Zapp's (located just west of New Orleans) manufactures
chips in flavors such as Cajun Crawtator (flavored with crawfish
boiling seasonings) and Creole Tomato (flavored with Tabasco pepper
sauce). Stores in Arizona and some of the other Southwestern states
sell lime flavored chips using the Mexican name, "Limón".
Canada, seasonings include dill
pickle, ketchup, all-dressed, salt and
vinegar, barbecue, salt and pepper, bacon,
chicken, fries and gravy, and even curry. In Toronto and Vancouver, Lay's offers wasabi chips to
appeal to the large Asian populations.
market in United
Kingdom is dominated by Walkers (at present a regional brand
of Lays) which is known for its wide variety of crisps. The
three main flavors are ready salted, cheese & onion and salt
& vinegar, however other typical examples include prawn cocktail, worcestershire sauce (known
by Walkers as Worcester Sauce), roast chicken, steak & onion,
smoky bacon, lamb & mint, ham & mustard, barbecue, BBQ rib,
tomato ketchup, sausage & ketchup, pickled onion, Branston Pickle, Marmite and more exotic seasonings such as Thai
sweet chili, roast pork & creamy mustard sauce, lime and Thai
spices, chicken with Italian herbs, sea salt and cracked black
pepper, turkey & bacon, caramelized onion & sweet balsamic
vinegar, stilton & cranberry and mango chili. Kettle Foods
Ltd's range of thick-cut crunchy crisps include gourmet flavors:
Mexican Limes with a hint of Chilli, Salsa with Mesquite, Buffalo
Mozzarella Tomato and Basil, Mature Cheddar with Adnams Broadside
Beer, Soulmate Cheeses and Onion, and other previously listed
flavors. Most seasonings contain only vegetarian-friendly ingredients, although some
recent seasonings such as lamb & mint sauce contain meat
extracts. In the early 1980s, there even existed 'Hedgehog flavoured crisps', these were widely on
sale and received large publicity. McCoys
Crisps are also popular in the UK. In Northern
Ireland Tayto Ltd. dominate
the market. This company is entirely unrelated to the Tayto
company in the Republic of Ireland. In the north of England
Seabrook Potato Crisps are
also popular, but they are much less common in the south.
Ireland, the common varieties of crisps are mostly the same
or similar to the ones sold in the UK. However in Ireland,
Tayto are synonymous with crisps after the Tayto brand. Walkers crisps were launched there
several years ago, but have failed to dominate the market. Hunky
Dorys and King crisps are other popular Irish brands. In Irish, crisps are known as criospaí
or brioscáin (phrátaí).
- Japan also has a
vast range of seasonings; they include nori
& salt, consommé, wasabi, soy sauce &
with butter, ume, mayonnaise, yakitori and
ramen. Major manufacturers are Calbee, Koikeya and Yamayoshi.
Kong, the two prominent potato chips are the spicy
"Ethnican" variety by Calbee, and barbecue by Jack'n Jill.
Lay's are also popular in Hong Kong. (With the most popular being
BBQ and sour cream and onion.)
- South Africa has a large variety of
potato chip flavors, including "fruit chutney", "biltong" (beef
jerky), "sausage", "worcestershire
sauce", and "tomato sauce" (ketchup
flavor) among many others.
- In mainland China, Lay's has introduced potato chips flavored in
different Chinese cuisine, world
cuisine, and even unexpected flavors such as cucumber.
the other hand, in Germany and many continental EU countries
the vast majority of chips sold are paprika
Germany and Poland, beer
flavored chips are available.
the Netherlands the market is dominated by Lay's; they offer a large variety of flavors, like:
'naturel' (salted), paprika, bolognese (Italian herbs and tomato),
barbecued ham, cheese & onion, Mexican herbs, Heinz tomato
ketchup, chilli, spareribs, Mediterranean herbs, Thai sweet chili,
Oriental spices, pepper & cream, chicken & thyme and spices
& lime. In spite of all the flavors the old fashioned
naturel (salted) and paprika crisps are most common and most
Norway, most chips
are flavored with salt, salt and pepper or paprika. Major
brands include KiMs, Maarud and HOFF.
Austria, garlic flavored potato chips are available, and
the restaurant Schweizerhaus offers fresh and deep-fryer-hot potato
flavored chips are very popular.
flavors feature spiciness.Popular flavors are Salt, Lime, Habanero,
'Chile y Limón' and Cheese.
Zealand the most popular varieties of potato chips are
Ready Salted, Salt n' Vinegar and Chicken. In 2009, Bluebird Foods Limited released a unique
range of chips made up of classic New Zealand loved flavors such as
'Meat Pie and Ketchup' and 'Reduced Cream and Onion Soup Dip'. The
range is named 'Kiwi As'.
Colombia, the five main flavors of chips are Natural (Ready
Salted), BBQ, Chicken, Mayonnaise and
Spain, the most popular flavors are plain (fried with
olive oil and salted), and ham flavor.
favorites include cheese, barbecue, and sour cream
India , there are a number of flavored varieties both in
locally made and multi-national brands such as Lay's. Some flavors are Tomato, Pudina (mint),
Masala, Coriander, Salt and Pepper, and Red Chili powder. Most
popular chip varieties are potato, tapioca, and plantain (yellow
and green, each with its own distinct taste).
- In Australia the popular flavors are
plain (salted), salt & vinegar, chicken, bbq, and sour cream
- In some Middle Eastern countries ,
many popular American flavors and chicken flavored chips are
available. In others, salt and salt and pepper varieties are the
popular potato chips are plain (salted), Pizza, bacon and ketchup
flavored. The Chipsy company holds
most of the Serbian potato-chip market.
Russia, the popular
flavors are plain (salted), onion, paprika, black pepper, and sour
cream, with more unusual varieties like bacon, Shashlik, crab, and caviar also on the
market. Both Lays and Pringles brands of potato chips are widespread, and
Russian companies like Perekrestok also manufacture their own
Another type of potato chip, notably the Pringles
and Lay's Stax
brands, is made by extruding
or pressing a
dough made from ground potatoes into the patented potato chip shape
before frying. This makes chips that are very uniform in size and
shape, which allows them to be stacked and packaged in rigid tubes.
In America, the official term for Pringles is "potato crisps", but
they are rarely referred to as such. Conversely Pringles may be
termed "potato chips" in Britain, to distinguish them from
An additional variant of potato chips exists in the form of "potato
sticks", also called "shoestring potatoes" and in Great Britain
"chipsticks". These are made as extremely thin (2–3 mm)
versions of the popular french fry
are fried in the manner of regular salted potato chips. A
hickory-smoke flavor version is popular in Canada, going by the
name "Hickory Sticks".Potato sticks are typically packaged in rigid
containers, although some manufacturers use flexible pouches,
similar to potato chip bags. Potato sticks were originally packed
in hermetically sealed steel cans. In the 1960s, manufacturers
switched to the less expensive composite canister (similar to the
Pringle's container). Reckitt
was a market leader in this category under the
Durkee Potato Stix
and French's Potato Sticks
names, but exited the business
A larger variant (approximately 1 cm thick) made with
dehydrated potatoes is marketed as Andy
Capp's Pub Fries
, using the
theme of a long running British comic
which are baked and come in a variety of flavors.
Some companies have also marketed baked
potato chips as an alternative with lower fat content.
Additionally, some varieties of fat-free chips have been made using
artificial, and indigestible, fat substitutes. These became
well-known in the media when an ingredient many contained, Olestra
, was linked in some individuals to abdominal
discomfort and loose stools.
The success of crisp
fried potato chips
also gave birth to fried corn chips
such brands as Fritos
market. "Swamp chips" are similarly made from a variety of root
vegetables such as parsnips
Japanese-style variants include extruded chips, like products made
Indian snack cuisine, there is an item called
vadam which is a chip made of an extruded rice/sago
There are many other products which might be called "crisps" in
Britain, but would not be classed as "potato chips" because they
aren't made with potato and/or aren't chipped (for example,
Kettle-style chips (known as hand-cooked in the UK/Europe) are
traditionally made by the "batch-style" process, where all chips
are fried all at once at a low temperature profile, and
continuously raked to prevent them from sticking together. There
has been some development recently where Kettle-style chips are
able to be produced by a "continuous-style" process (like a long
conveyor belt), creating the same old-fashioned texture and flavor
of a real kettle-cooked chip.
Non-potato based chips also exist. Kumara (sweet potato) chips are
eaten in Korea, New Zealand and Japan; parsnip, beetroot and carrot
crisps are available in the United Kingdom. India is famous for a
large number of localized 'chips shops', selling not only potato
chips but also other varieties such as plantain chips, tapioca
chips, yam chips and even carrot chips. Plantain chips, also known
, are also sold in the Western Hemisphere
from Florida to Chile. In the Philippines, banana chips can be
found sold at local stores. In Kenya, chips are made even from
arrowroot and casava. In the United Kingdom, Sweden and Australia,
a new variety of Pringles made from rice have been released and
marketed as lower in fat than their potato counterparts. Recently,
the Australian company Absolute Organic has also released chips
made from beetroot.
- – Origins of potato chips