CMH Gourmand – Eating in Columbus & Ohio

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All That and…..a Bag of Chips! (Putting Sandwich Week in the Bag)

Posted by cmh gourmand on August 13, 2017

Well, that wraps up Sandwich week. As I was doing my sandwich sleuthing a few trends started to surface. One involved what some view as the lowly potato chip. Not so low in my book, in fact, I started to see them as a last hold out of a dying localized food culture. I noticed bags of chips in many varieties at any of the diners and dives I was eating these regional sandwiches at. More often than not the branding was unfamiliar to me. However as I started reading the labels and sleuthing their origins I noticed that these under the radar chips were often made not so far away from the epicenter of these regional sandwiches, if you drove 25 miles in an opposite direction you were just as likely to get a puzzled look asking about a Horseshoe Sandwich as you were about _________ Potato Chips. These two food trends travel back several generations before the ubiquitousness of food programing, the Internet and the homogenization of local and regional food cultures creating an affinity for boring and bland national brands. Every small town had a dairy, a brewery, a bread factory and a potato chip maker. That started to change in the 1980’s with the blitzkrieg like growth of Frito-Lay but even today we see embedded, splinter cells of regional potato chip lines, especially in my home state of Ohio. I grew up with Buckeye Potato chips, which has since crumbled away, but there are still many regional potato chip brands within Ohio and many loyal fans that swear by their chip from the old block. Here are a few examples:

Ballreich’s Potato Chips – Tiffin
Conns Potato Chips – Zanesville
Jones Potato Chip Company – Mansfield
Mike-Sell’s – Dayton
Shearer’s – Canton

Grippos – Cincinnati

Gold N Crisp – Massillion

Why so many potato chip factories in Ohio (2nd in the country for production). Part of that answer is due to our waistlines but the rest is history. Potato chips have been pleasing our palates for the past 150 years.

America’s love affair with this tantalizing treat began in the summer of 1853 when a patron of Moon’s Lake House on Saratoga Lake in New York sent his fried potatoes back complaining they were too thick. Cook George Crum sliced up more potatoes paper-thin and fried them to a crisp. They became a hit with the patrons and became known as “ Saratoga Chips.”

The recipe soon spread to other restaurants along the East Coast, but in 1895, William Tappendon of Cleveland, began making chips in his kitchen and delivering them to neighborhood stores. He later converted a barn to manufacture the snack and is credited as the first potato chip retailer in the country.

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4 Responses to “All That and…..a Bag of Chips! (Putting Sandwich Week in the Bag)”

  1. Cindy Leland said

    Loved this week of sandwiches! I think i gained another 5 lbs just reading about them, and remembering old fashioned sandwiches of my youth… clam rolls, crab cake sandwiches, hot beefs… on and on. Loved it all, and it still should be a book!

  2. AlohaJo said

    Good week of sandwich articles. I have a new list of items to try, Thanks!
    I know there are many regional chip brands, but I just gotta mention Mumford’s from Urbana. I only know about them because they are my favorite side when eating a half dozen burgers at Crabill’s.

  3. Linda said

    As always your articles and observations are the best. Thanks for continuing to blog.

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