Posts Tagged With: Potato chip

231/365: National Potato Day/National Hot & Spicy Food Day*

Today presents us with a real dilemma. We have two food holidays to choose from: National Potato Day, or National Hot & Spicy Food Day. No problem for me, but somebody in the house doesn’t like potatoes OR hot and spicy foods.

Hint: it’s not the cat.

Before I continue, I want to update you on a recent challenge. A couple of days ago was National Vanilla Custard Day. My parents had given us some rennet tablets to assist in the preparation. I had never used them before – had never even heard of them, as a matter of fact – and the instructions for preparation were very precise. My first batch was ruined because the milk was too hot, so I cooked up a second helping, and this time the temperature was just right. We put it in the refrigerator overnight to set, and the next morning – before hitting the road – tried the custard. It wasn’t bad at all. But, after fourteen hours in a cooler filled with ice, the consistency had changed to something akin to a watery, lumpy cottage cheese. Neither of us was keen on trying it, but we knew we must adhere to the rules of the challenge, so we actually waited until the stroke of midnight, when it was officially Saturday, and had a spoonful each. Honestly, the flavor wasn’t bad, but the texture was revolting. So, our vanilla custard was a major disappointment – but given the obstacles we faced this weekend, we won’t beat ourselves up too badly.

Moving right along…

Spices were first used to flavor foods around 7000 B.C. when our forefathers discovered mastodon tasted so much better with a dash of red pepper flakes. Some cultures began to build their entire cuisines around spicy foods (Indian, Thai, Japanese, Mexican, and others), which isn’t really a bad thing: hot spices rev up the immune system, ignite the libido, and stimulate the brain. Which means, eating them will keep you healthy, horny, and smart as a whip. Plenty of reason there to pass the jalapenos!

I figured it would be easy to celebrate both food holidays today by combining the two. How to do that? With a bag of jalapeno flavored potato chips, of course! They were good. Tara wasn’t as crazy about them, but was a trooper about it (like always) and had a couple despite her distaste for them.

National Hot & Spicy Food Day, National Potato Day

Categories: Too Weird to Categorize, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

73/365: National Potato Chip Day

If you’re feeling salty, your mood is sure to improve today. We celebrate one of the most popular snack foods in America: it’s National Potato Chip Day!

Tara's employer got in on the action today!

Tara’s employer got in on the action today!

Potato chips actually started out as a joke. One evening in August, 1853, a diner at a restaurant in Saratoga Springs, New York was unhappy with his meal. He complained that his potatoes were too thick, soggy, and bland, and kept sending them back to the chef, George Crum. After trying to appease the customer several times (and probably hawking a loogie in his food at some point), Crum had had enough. He decided to slice the potatoes as thinly as possible, fry them until they were crisp, and season them with extra salt. The trick backfired when the customer loved them, and suddenly the restaurant had a new hit item on their menu called Saratoga Chips. In 1910, Mike-sells Potato Chip Company in Dayton, Ohio became the first company to mass-market and sell potato chips. Back then, they were sold in barrels and tins or scooped out of bins. California entrepreneur Laura Scudder developed a wax bag to fill with potato chips at her factory, a revolutionary invention that kept them fresh and crispy longer. Flavored potato chips were developed in the 1950s by Joe “Spud” Murphy of the Tayto company, who came up with Cheese & Onion and Salt & Vinegar flavors. Flavored chips became an overnight sensation, and Murphy became filthy stinkin’ rich. Nowadays there are dozens of potato chip flavors, including Chicken & Waffles. Really, Lay’s?! But that’s not unusual compared with flavors found in other parts of the world, like Canada (Ballpark Hot Dog, Greek Feta & Olive); Japan (Scallop With Butter, Mayonnaise); and the United Kingdom (Prawn Cocktail, Lamb & Mint, Sausage & Ketchup, Stilton & Cranberry).

For our challenge, we stuck with regular ol’ original Lay’s. They may not be exotic, but they are dependably salty, crispy, and delicious!


Categories: Snacks | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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