- The earliest known recipe for something similar to today’s potato chips is in William Kitchiner’s book The Cook’s Oracle published in 1817, which was a bestseller in the United Kingdom and the United States. The 1822 edition’s recipe for “Potatoes fried in Slices or Shavings” reads “peel large potatoes… cut them in shavings round and round, as you would peel a lemon; dry them well in a clean cloth, and fry them in lard or dripping”. An 1825 British book about French cookery calls them “Pommes de Terre frites” (second recipe) and calls for thin slices of potato fried in “clarified butter or goose dripping”, drained and sprinkled with salt. Early recipes for potato chips in the US are found in Mary Randolph’s Virginia House-Wife (1824) and in N.K.M. Lee’s Cook’s Own Book (1832), both of which explicitly cite Kitchiner.
- In an idea originated by the Smiths Potato Crisps Company Ltd, formed in 1920, Frank Smith packaged a twist of salt with his chips in greaseproof paper bags, which were sold around London. The potato chip remained otherwise unseasoned until an important scientific development in the 1950s. After English biochemists Archer Martin and Richard Synge received a Nobel Prize for inventing partition chromatography in 1952, food scientists began to develop flavors via a gas chromatograph. After some trial and error, in 1954, Joe “Spud” Murphy, the owner of the Irish crisps company Tayto, and his employee Seamus Burke, produced the world’s first seasoned chips: Cheese & Onion and Salt & Vinegar. Companies worldwide sought to buy the rights to Tayto’s technique. Walkers of Leicester, England produced Cheese & Onion the same year.
Raw Potato Chips