Posted on 04/09/2013

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New York
Can't eat just one
I jokingly call him the greatest inventor of all time becaus
Moon Lake Lodge
Inventor of Crisps (UK)
Inventor of Potato Chips (US)
George Crum
African American Man
Saratoga Springs
A very young portrait of Crum

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His invention is possibly the world's greatest snack food

His invention is possibly the world's greatest snack food
Born as George Speck in 1822 in Saratoga Lake, New York, Crum was the son of a Native-American mother and an African-American father. As an adult he adopted the professional name “Crum,” a name his father also used in his career as a jockey. In his early years, Crum worked as a trapper and a mountain guide in the Adirondacks before he realized his talents with food.

In the summer of 1853, Crum was working as a chef at the Moon Lake Lodge, an elegant resort in Saratoga Springs, NY. As the story goes, Crum was cooking in the kitchen one day when a guest sent back the restaurant’s popular French-fried potatoes complaining that they were too thick. An angry Crum grabbed a new potato and sliced it spitefully thin, so thin that the guest would not be able to eat it with a fork. Fried in oil and salted, these crispy potato slices were sent out. And the guest loved them! Crum had stumbled upon what would become America’s favorite snack.

Although the story is more legend than historical fact, as Crum never patented the invention, he was surely involved in the potato chip’s discovery. Other accounts give his sister Kate, who worked with him at the Moon Lake Lodge, some of the credit. Kate has been said to have dropped a sliced potato in hot oil by accident, which George then tasted, discovering the potato chip by chance. However it happened, from that day forward potato chips began to appear on the Moon Lake Lodge’s menu as a house specialty.

Info from the Menu at Moons: Eventually they became a favorite around the world. The French took to them with such enthusiasm that patriotic French chefs declared they were an invention of French cuisine. Today Moon's is continuing the tradition of serving the same fine food and the authentic Saratoga chip, often imitated but never equaled.

In 1860 George Crum opened his own restaurant on Malta Avenue in Saratoga Lake featuring potato chips in baskets on each table. The restaurant was successful for 30 years, serving several rich and famous guests of Saratoga. Crum closed his establishment in 1890, and died 14 years later at the age of 92. His fame as a successful inventor and businessman is a legacy in African-American history.

Bio:The Free George Online Upstate NY Magazine article by Jessica Nicosia

GR8 photos and info, thanks for sharing.
4 years ago.
You're so very welcome and thank you for the comments.
4 years ago.