Do you like potato chips? If so, you have George Crum to thank. Let me tell you a little about this man and this accidental invention.
George Speck aka George Crum was an African and Native American chef, hunter and guide born in upstate New York on July 15, 1824. George Crum is credited with the invention of the potato chip and if you have never heard the fascinating story behind it, I am about to tell you.
George Crum along with his sister Katie Wicks, affectionately called “Aunt Katie”, worked together as cooks at Cary Moon’s Lake House on Saratoga Lake in Saratoga Springs, New York. One day, while Katie was skinning and cutting up some potatoes, she accidentally chipped a thin slice of potato that fell into a skillet of hot pork fat. When she scooped it out with a fork and laid it onto a plate, George spotted it and ate it.
According to relatives of the late Katie Hicks and George Crum, George “declared it good” and told Katie they will start making plenty of them. A strict cook and chef, George perfected the potato chip by cutting potatoes into thin round slices, deep frying them in pork fat and finishing them off with salt and pepper or one of this other special seasonings. It soon became a hit and soon others started to replicate his recepie.
One thing is for sure, there has been many spins on the potato chip, but there is only one person who gets the credit for this celebrated invention and that is none other than George Crum. Lays, Golden Flake, Ruffles and many others would not be in existence today if it were not for George Crum. And you know what? I am going to also add Katie Hicks. After all, if it was not for her accidentally dropping a chipped potato into that skillet of hot pork fat, George may not have gotten the idea for what we all call the potato chip.
Until next time…