The origin of potato chips and soya crisps
by Jes @SnackFirst on Mar 31, 2021
Potato chips or crisps are one of the most popular type of snacks in the world!
Yet crisps were not intentionally invented, but rather because of a customer's complaint that the fries were not thin enough, not crispy enough in Saratoga Springs, New York. Thus, the chef decided to cut them thinly and fry them, resulting in the well known potato chips in 1853!
Flavoured potato chips
In the 1950s, chips became commercially available. There were The Golden Wonder company in Britain and Mikesell's Potato Chip Company in Ohio, USA, which is touted as the oldest potato chip manufacturer. The is the period where salted and flavoured chips were made popular to the world.
The first flavour is cheese and onion, and it still remained a classic taste, while newer, weirder and bolder flavours include chicken tikka masala and flame-grilled cheeseburger.
From barrels to bags
Initially, potato chips were packaged in tins and barrels and transported by horse carriages and wagon. This left lots of crumbs at the bottom which are usually stale and discarded. After which, wax paper bags were used to keep chips longer and then added cellophane, allowing it to be exported and become a mass market snack. Nowadays, chips are placed into plastic bags and topped up with Nitrogen gas to keep them crispy and minimise crumbs. Pringles has also made the tube packaging to prevent chips from ever getting smashed into pieces.
The commonly known way to make home-made potato chips is quite similar to the commercial method. We start off with soaking the potatoes in cold water to remove starch. Next, potatoes are fries at a temperature of 150C and continuously turned so that they don't stick together. This is followed by a drying process to allow oil to flow off from the chips. A variation of this is the "kettle-style" where chips are thicker and not soaked in water to give greater bite and harder crunch.
Potato chips have come under fire for containing high amount of salt or sodium content, and this cause high blood pressure and other health concerns. We would advise you not to take too much daily, and to only indulge in chips for special occasions!
The rise of soya crisps
In Asia, we have banana, arrowhead, yam, sweet potato, carrot, beetroot and cassava chips. Surely, we also have soya chips/crisps which are also plant-based snacks! We are not gonna lie to you, these crisps are deep fried and flavourful so it's gonna be super crispy and tasty.
Our soya crisps flavours:
Compared to potato chips where these are made from soy flour rather than potatoes, they are touted as having more proteins and dietary fiber. Still, it's not as healthy as nuts and you should try not to have more than a handful a day. It's just incredibly crunchy and addictive so that's pretty hard!