You may have heard the story of how the first potato chip was made, by accident, in Saratoga Springs.
Alan Richer knows the other story.
In the more widely-told tale dating back to the 1850s, an overdressed and dissatisfied diner at Moon’s Lake House sends back his potatoes — “not once, but twice,” Richer said — for being too thick and soft. Out of spite, the chef, George Speck Crum, takes out his razor to make the potatoes extra thin and deep fries them, thinking they would be inedible, but the customer eats them right up.
Richer, a chip historian who lives on Saratoga Lake, said that’s one of a few origin stories, and he knows them all. In another, Crum’s sister, “Aunt Kate” Weeks, accidentally drops a potato into a doughnut fryer.
“And when they cut it open, that’s how it got invented,” he said.
Richer will share stories like these, along with his entire collection of chip history memorabilia, at the second annual Chip Festival set for Saturday at the Saratoga Springs City Center. The all-day event serves as a fundraiser for the Saratoga Springs Lions Club and will feature a variety of chip samples; a national chip contest judged by Culinary Institute of America dean Brendan Walsh, with winners in 12 categories; and an appearance by the Big Idaho Potato Truck, a traveling six-ton imitation spud.
Greg Dixon, a Lions Club member who co-chairs the event with Dione Ramsdill, said the festival features snacks — mostly chips but also beef jerky, salsa and more — from 18 companies. Brands include Tri-Sum of Leominster, Mass., one of the country’s oldest chip companies;…
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