The potato chip is a very popular American snack. But do you know that the potato chip was invented by a black man named George “Crum” Speck? And do you know the snack became a favorite unintentionally?
George Speck was born in 1822 to a black father and Native American mother in Saratoga Lake, NY. His father was a jockey and used the name “Crum,” leading George Speck to go by George Crum.
In 1853, George Crum was a chef at Moon Lake Lodge resort in Saratoga Springs. French-fried potatoes were very popular there. One day, George Crum was irritated because a customer sent an order of French-fried potatoes back to the kitchen. The customer complained that they were too thick. So George Crum sliced some potatoes super thin, fried them in grease, and sent the crunchy brown chips out to the customer.
To George Crum’s surprise, the customer actually loved the chips, and other customers soon began to ask for his “Saratoga Chips.” They quickly became a favorite.
George Crum later opened his own restaurant in 1860, “Crum’s House.” A basket of potato chips was placed on every table. Even though he is credited with inventing them, George Crum never patented his potato chips.
Today, we remember George Crum for creating the potato chip that we continue to enjoy over a century later. We are thankful for his sarcastic personality that lead to the invention of one of America’s most popular snacks.