Sandra Cisneros, a Mexican-American author, once said in an interview, “If you’re poor, potato chips are the food of life for you. It’s the caviar.”
We can’t help but accept Sandra’s opinion. The humble potato chip is definitely the food of life for most of us-- and not just when we’re broke. It is one of those wonders of the culinary world which came into existence as a happy accident and went on to rule as a staple snack food all across the globe. Perhaps this is the reason why there’s an entire day devoted to celebrating its existence.
The Potato Chip Day is a day to voice your admiration for chips, be it among friends or on social media. To rejoice the day like a real chips lover though, is simple - all you need is a bowl of chips and bottle of fine whisky to accompany it!
Revisiting the Past
March 14th marks the National Potato Chip Day – a perfect day for one to grab a pack of favorite chips and munch down. But this day probably wouldn’t have existed had it not been for a 19th century chef named George Crum in Upstate New York.
Back in one of the evenings of 1853, George was cooking his haute cuisine at Moon Lake Lodge in Saratoga Springs, NY. One of the customers kept returning a plate of French fried potatoes which was included within the menu as a special offering. He complained that the fries weren’t thin enough. In order to please him, Crum cut the potatoes into thin slices, fried the same and served. As it turned out, the crispy potato fries went on to be a big hit and eventually evolved as a specialty named ‘Saratoga chips’. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that potato chips expanded from posh restaurants and started selling in bags.
Today, the global sales figures of potato chips go well beyond $15 billion a year and it continues to set newer trends across the food industry. According to industry experts, the flavours of potato chips are becoming more adventurous, exotic and varied with time. While nothing can beat the preference for spicy seasonings, consumers are increasingly looking for more complexity and balance to serve as an add-on alongside the spiciness.
A range of such bold flavors not only make potato chips a perfect snack option for new age gastronomes, but it also makes it ideal for pairing up with bold drinks like whiskey.
Celebrating the Potato Chip Day with a Dram
The combination of chips and beer has already been extensively field tested. To give a new twist to your Potato Chip Day celebration, try and change your beverage selection to Irish whiskey or bourbon. This will make the pairing a little less innate, but no less delicious. To help you with your jaunt, we’ve compiled a list of best whiskey and chip combos that sure make for some incredible tasting experience.
Check them out!
Chivas Regal and Ruffles Original
Being a highly refined Scotch blend, Chivas comes with a soft, fruity flavor which accentuates when a little water is added. Hints of black pepper and spice on the tail, teams up well with the taste of Ruffles original – offering a highly refreshing counterpoint for the chip’s natural saltiness.
Aberlour and Terra Sweets & Beets
The Terra Sweet potato chips comes with a mix of sweet potato and beet which adds a fair degree of sweetness to the taste buds as an aftertaste. This earthy chip pairs well with Aberlour which is rich and fruity with subtle notes of caramel.
Knob Creek 9 Year Old and Kettle Jalapeño Chips
As a small batch bourbon, Knob Creek comes with notes of salty butter and toasty oak which is blends well with the moderate spicy heat of the Jalapeno chips. One small advice, don’t go for an ice cube or cola for this combination. Just let the two bold flavors play along and your taste buds won’t be disappointed.