March 14th is National Potato Chip Day (we know it’s circled on your calendar), so we thought you might like to sit back, break open a bag of your favorite flavor and enjoy some fun facts about everyone’s favorite junk food. You can even dazzle your friends at trivia night with some newfound trivia tidbits! Just make sure to wash your hands first – that crusty chip residue tends to get messy.
– Potato chips were invented in 1853 in Saratoga Springs, New York (hence the original and sometimes still-used moniker ‘saratoga chips’). George Crum, a Native American chef, cut a complaining customer’s french fries as thin as possible. The trend caught on and the potato chip was born.
– Potato chips truly are the number one snack food in America. Roughly 1.2 billion pounds of chips (around $6 billion worth) are consumed by Americans every year.
– The three best-selling flavors? Plain, barbecue, and sour cream & onion. The worst? Dirt, shardy glass, and sweaty towel (we’re guessing).
– Why are regular potato chips so unique, yet Pringles chips so uniform (and delicious)? That’s because Pringles are made from mashed potatoes that have been dehydrated, then reconstituted into dough for slicing. How else will they fit into the can?
– The average potato chip is between .04 and .08 inches thick, and it takes 10,000 pounds of potatoes to make 2,500 pounds of potato chips. Conversely, it takes us about 10 minutes to eat them all.
– Actually, Americans eat approximately 6 pounds of potatoes a year. That’s 96 one-ounce bags. Ouch.
– The biggest selling potato chip company is Lay’s, followed by Ruffles. However, they’re both owned by the Frito-Lay company, who wins either way. Third place in chip sales is Pringles, a P&G joint.
– Potato chips are a hit internationally as well (known as ‘crisps’, ‘walkers’ and ‘chipsys’in some parts), with intriguing flavors like shrimp, mushroom, and seaweed. Uh…I think we can eat just one of those.