When did potato chips become so healthy? Companies have offered baked chips rather than fried, and have reduced trans fats. But more recent developments seem to amount to a reinvention of sorts for the lowly, but deliciously addictive, potato chip.
The potato chip, sources say, came into being as we know them today in 1853 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Frying potatoes was nothing new, but slicing them so thinly was. Now, instead of being fried, they’re being popped. San Francisco, Calif.-based Popchips Inc. uses potatoes, organic white corn and whole grain brown rice, applies heat and pressure and “pop.” The end product contains half the fat of fried potato chips, trans fats, saturated fats and cholesterol.
Then there’s Corazonas Foods Inc. out of Los Angeles, Calif., which adds plant sterols, uses heart-healthy oils and a frying process that results in chips with 40 per cent less fat than regular chips. Genisoy, from Tulsa, Okla., has also introduced Soytato Chips, Potato Soy Crisps and Soy Crisps.
And because we couldn’t resist seeing what else was out there we scanned the Net for more chip choices. These may not be “healthy” alternatives, but in terms of flavour they’re far from the original plain salted fried chips. In Argentina, you can have Steak with Onions and Sweet Peppers, Patagonia Lamb, and Grilled Provolone Cheese flavoured chips. In New Zealand you can find chips featuring Honey Soy Chicken, Smoked Salmon & Capers, Sundried Tomatoes & Balsamic Vinegar, and Roast Chicken, Sage & Onion. In the U.K. there’s Marmite Yeast Extract, Prawn Cocktail, and Horseradish & Sour Cream chips. And in Japan potato chips are available in flavours such as American Burger, Gorgonzola, tofu in a spicy pork sauce, mushrooms and bacon, and even shrimp and mayonnaise on pizza.