Fun Facts about America’s Favorite Salty Snack

We’ve all failed the challenge to eat just one potato chip. And it’s no wonder. Potato chips are quite possibly the world’s most addicting snack food.

The fact that potato chips are delicious is not the only reason it is tough to eat just one. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that salt is to blame. According to the study, the more salt in a food, the more likely an individual is prone to overeating. The study explained that salt dulls the fullness signals people are supposed to feel after eating.

Regardless of the science behind the potato chip, this snack food is an important part of our American culture. In light of this, we thought it would be fun to share some of the most interesting facts about potato chips.

  1. According to culinary legend, potato chips were invented in 1853 when a chef, tired of a customer complaining that his potatoes were too soggy, sliced potatoes as thinly as possible and deep fried them to make them as crisp as possible. The customer loved the crispy potatoes and they were added to the regular menu.
  2. The earliest ever reference to chips in print came in “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Darwin.
  3. Potato chip sales account for one third of all salty snack sales.
  4. The first ever flavored potato chip was salt and vinegar. Today, the bestselling flavors in the United States are barbeque and sour cream and onion.
  5. It takes 10,000 pounds of potatoes to make 3,500 pounds of chips.
  6. Potato chips were almost a casualty of World War II when they were declared a nonessential food and their production was halted. Manufacturers and protests forced the War Production Board to reconsider and the snacks were saved.
  7. A California woman came up with the idea of pre-bagging the chips. Laura Scudder designed a bag made of wax paper that was ironed by hand into grease-resistant packs. These bags were the precursor to today’s foil bags which populate snack machines and store shelves across the world.
  8. If you have ever been frustrated after opening a bag of potato chips to encounter more air than chips, you should know that it isn’t just air you are encountering. Potato chip bags also are pumped full of nitrogen, which keeps the chips fresh. The additional space also adds cushioning.
  9. Potato chips with ridges came about after consumers demanded a stronger chip that wouldn’t break when used for dipping. Ridged chips are four times thicker than standard chips.
  10. The world record for the largest bag of potato chips was set in the United Kingdom. It weighed in at more than 2,500 pounds.

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