Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A potato chip or crisp is a thin slice of a potato, deep fried or baked until crisp. Potato chips serve as an appetizer, side dish, or snack. Commercial varieties are packaged for sale, usually in bags. The simplest chips of this kind are just cooked and salted, but manufacturers can add a wide variety of seasonings (mostly made using herbs, spices, cheese, artificial additives or MSG). Chips are an important part of the snack food market in English-speaking countries and many other Western nations.
There is little consistency in the English speaking world for names of fried potato cuttings. North American English uses 'chips' for the above mentioned dish, and sometimes 'crisps' for the same made from batter, and 'French fries' for the hot crispy batons with a soft core. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, 'crisps' are the brittle slices eaten at room temperature and 'chips' refer to that hot dish (as in 'fish and chips'). In Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, both forms of potato product are simply known as 'chips', as are the larger "home-style" potato chips. Sometimes the distinction is made between 'hot chips' (French fried potatoes) and 'packet chips'.
Non-potato based chips also exist. Kumara (sweet potato) chips are eaten in New Zealand and Japan; parsnip crisps are available in the United Kingdom. There are also regional variations. For example, in parts of the North of England, fried sliced potatoes are sometimes called "flakies". India is famous for a large number of localized 'chips shops', selling not only potato chips but also other varieties such as plantain chips, yam chips and even carrot chips. In many countries potato chips have been criticized because of their high fat percentage (approx. 35%) and their acrylamide content.

Potato chip Origins
The global potato chips market generated total revenues of 16.4 billion dollars in 2005. This accounted for 35.5% of the total savory snacks market in that year (46.1 billion dollars).

Seasoned chips

In the US, the most popular forms of seasoned potato chips include "sour cream and onion", "barbecue", "ranch", and cheese-seasoned chips, including nacho flavor and cheddar (usually with sour cream).
Within North America, wider varieties are available in parts of Canada, where seasonings include dill pickle, ketchup, poutine, salt & vinegar, bacon and curry. In Toronto and Vancouver, Lay's offers wasabi chips.[6]
The market in United Kingdom is dominated by Walkers which is known for its wide variety of crisps. Typical examples include salt & vinegar, cheese & onion, prawn cocktail, worcester sauce, roast chicken, beef & onion, smoky bacon, lamb & mint, ham & mustard, barbecue, BBQ rib, tomato ketchup, sausage & ketchup, pickled onion, Branston Pickle, Marmite and more exotic seasonings such as Thai sweet chilli, roast pork & creamy mustard sauce, lime and thai spices, lamb with Moroccan spices, sea salt and cracked black pepper, turkey & bacon, caramelised onion & sweet balsamic vinegar, stilton & cranberry and mango chilli. Kettle Foods Ltd's range of thick-cut crunchy crisps include gourmet flavours : Mexican Limes with a hint of Chilli, Salsa with Mesquite, Buffalo Mozzarella Tomato and Basil, Mature Cheddar with Adnams Broadside Beer, Soulmate Cheeses and Onion, and other previously listed flavours. Most seasonings contain only vegetarian-friendly ingredients, although some recent seasonings such as lamb & mint sauce contain meat extracts. In the early 1980s, there even existed 'Hedgehog flavoured crisps' , these were widely on sale and received large publicity. McCoys Crisps are also popular in the UK. In Northern Ireland Tayto (NI) Ltd. dominate the market. This company is entirely unrelated to the Tayto company in the Republic of Ireland.
In Ireland, the common varieties of crisps are mostly the same or similar to the ones sold in the UK. However in Ireland, Tayto are synonymous with crisps (after the Tayto brand, Walkers crisps were launched there several years ago, but have failed to dominate the market.
Japan also has a vast range of seasonings; they include nori & salt, consommé, wasabi, soy sauce & butter, takoyaki, kimchi, garlic, chilli, scallop with butter, ume, mayonnaise, yakitori and ramen. Major manufacturers are Calbee, Koikeya and Yamayoshi. Similar foods
In American cuisine, a whole class of recipes exists that use crushed potato chips, often as one would use seasoned bread crumbs. Recipes include those for cookies, pies, breadings for meatloaves and hamburgers, crumb toppings for casseroles, and in sauces or dips, among others.
A cheap recipe is the potato chip sandwich made from a base of two slices of white sandwich bread generously spread with mayonnaise. As many potato chips as possible are heaped on one of the slices, then the second slice is placed on top and pushed down hard until all the potato chips are crushed. This is a snack version of the traditional "chip butty", made with sliced, buttered bread and freshly made French fries. "Crisp sandwiches" are also popular in the UK – a student favorite sees them made with Vitalite spread; in Ireland white bread is spread on both sides with plenty of butter, before being filled with crisps and employing the aforementioned hand-crushing technique to ensure the contents stick to the butter and remain in the sandwich. Potato chips, particularly salt and vinegar , are also a possible addition to tuna salad sandwiches. The chips are layered on top of the tuna as an additional filling. Everything here described can be done also with either Doritos or Cheetos or a combination of all the three for maximum flavour experience.
In New Zealand, potato chips are added to bread with thinly spread Marmite to make a "Marmite And Chip Sandwich". The Australian version of the sandwich uses Vegemite instead of Marmite.
Not strictly a recipe, but another method of preparing crisps is to keep the crisps in the refrigerator, prior to serving. Commonly called 'cold crisps', they have a mixed level of acceptance, with some finding them abhorrent, and others seeing 'cold crisps' as the correct method of preparation. A common fault in vending machines often results in 'cold crisps' being issued, even if crisps at room temperature were desired. In parts of Canada, it is also common to store potato chips in the freezer, and eat them while still frozen.