Have you ever seen diners at restaurants sending their food back to the kitchen because it wasn’t cooked right? I am guilty. However, I’ve only done it a few times in my life. I promise that’s the truth. Have you also heard horror stories about what happens with the plate once it goes back to the kitchen? I don’t want to believe that those stories are true, but chefs and kitchen staff are humans. They feel unappreciated, they get frustrated, and angry at times. If a customer gets too fussy, the chef might even try to annoy him. Sometimes what the chefs do to annoy fussy customers make the headlines in the news, become the talk of the town and go down in the history books.
That’s exactly what happened in 1853. French Fries were a popular item on the menu at the Moon Lake Lodge resort in Saratoga Springs, New York where George Crum worked as a chef. One day, he made a set of fries for a customer but the customer didn’t like it. It was too thick. The customer sent it back. George Crum made a thinner serving of the fries, but still the customer felt it was too thick.
Can you imagine how George was feeling at that time? Other diners had to be served and George had to keep on trying to please this customer. George must have said to himself, “since you want to be picky and fussy, I’ll just show you; I’ll annoy you for sure now!” He set out to make yet another batch of fries, but this time he sliced the potato very thinly. Much to his surprise, the customer loved the third batch and potato chips were invented. George’s chips were originally called Saratoga Chips and potato crunches.
This Super Bowl weekend, many households and restaurants across the nation will consume bowls and bowls of potato chips and we have George Crum, an African-American to be thankful for this invention.