Thursday is National Potato Chip Day

Hadas Kuznits
March 14, 2019 - 4:05 pm
Thursday is National Potato Chip Day.

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Rocco Fiorentino, president and CEO of Philadelphia's Primo Hoagies, says potato chips came to be when railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbuilt complained at a resort he was staying that his french fries were too thick.

"The potato chip was invented in 1853 by a small town cook by the name of George Crum," Fiorentino said. 

But, he says, the popularity of the potato chip didn't really gain steam until the 1930s. 

"An American businessman from North Carolina by the name of Herman Lay began selling the potato chips out of his trunk to grocers across the south," Fiorentino explained. 

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The next big development was the creation of the ruffled chip. 

"They did that because it was sturdier and less prone to breakage. When we created our Primo Chip, we wanted a rippled chip for the same reasons," he said. 

And then flavored chips started hitting the market in the 1950s. It's a process that takes time; their most recent flavor took six months worth of tastings to perfect. 

"The Italian Hoagie is one of our signature sandwiches and we wanted to put all the flavor profile that you'd find in our sandwich into our chip," he said. 

He also says that Phialdelphians love potato chips. 

"The flat potato chip is the most popular. The ruffled or the one with ridges is not as popular, it probably represents maybe 20 to 30 percent of all chip sales," he said.