David Pescovitz at 8:58 am Wed, Apr 10, 2013
I love potato chips, don't you?
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.
TAGS: factories Food snacks
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Herr’s chips are pretty damn yummy, and the kettle chips are even better, but you can only buy them in Pennsylvania, I think. There’s like 10 or 20 small brands there. It’s potato chip heaven.
It’s true! Herr’s is terrific, but Grandma Utz’s Kettle Chips rule my potato-chip universe.
I tried them once and noticed an interesting taste to them – checked the bag and found they were made with lard. As a vegetarian, I was not happy.
I used to think that, too, but I’ve found some places carry smaller bags here in Connecticut.
Aside from bragging about factory automation there wasn’t much information about how they’re made.
Apparently potato chips aren’t cooked! They just fall out of the truck and turn into thin slices in preparation for having their picture taken.
They are literally tipped out of the truck though so at least I’ve learned *something* today.
my friend’s mom makes $80 an hour on the computer. She has been laid off for nine months but last month her paycheck was $12005 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on Jive8.com
The Golden Flake factory tour has more detail. Note that they have less automation. I guess those workers must be cheaper than fancy machines. http://www.goldenflake.com/potatochip/tourchip.html
I was in the Hostess plant in Ontario before Frito-Lay bought them out. I was working on some of their automation systems. It was pretty amazing and their attention to quality and consistency was impressive.
After Frito-Lay bought the factory, they removed lots of the automated systems and went back to using people. Apparently, the accountants determined that minimum wage workers were cheaper than engineers and maintenance people.
Plus, you don’t have to fix a person if they break. You fire them and get one who works.
Nobody’s left a snarky remark about how all of this automation of the production of empty calories is making us all obese? Wow.
It looks like somebody has.
OBESE as in Andre The Giant?
Not all of us. I eat potato chips every day and I’m nowhere near obese.
pic or it didn’t happen ;-)
Growing up, we took a field trip to the Jay’s Potato Chips factory outside Chicago. The tour went from the semi trailer full of potatoes being tipped empty to the free bag of chips that they gave you at the end of the process. It was educational, unhealthy, and glorious.
R.I.P. Jay’s Potato Chip Factory, Chicago, IL.
So what happens to the chips which are too dark? Are they sold as seconds?
They’re probably sold into savoury.
Actually, Herr’s sells the dark brown ones as a specialty flavor, and they’re delicious.
Yay. I was right.
i believe those are different, just cooked longer and/or have (more) sugar on them to increase the Maillard reaction
with a little bleach and water, they’re repressed into Pringles
They’re fed to the pigs who shit out the fresh potatoes.
I was wondering that as well.
i wish they’d just send them to me. i’d take them off their hands, make them go away, and i wouldn’t even charge them for it!
I recently took a tour of the Herr’s factory. All the ‘waste’ food is ground up and given to local farmers as feed for their livestock.
Herr’s Old Bay chips are amazing. It’s probably for the best I can’t get them where I live.
I’ll clue you in on a little insider tip so that you can try making these at home… The secret ingredient that differentiates those from plain potato chips is…. Old Bay!
Here’s how potato chips are . . . packaged via automation!
My favourites are the dark spotty ones… tragic.
When I was a kid you used to get occasional dark/burned ones in the (waxed paper, not plastic) bat. I loved them.
Why do they have to taste so good? Why!?
I really don’t understand the appeal of fried starch.
there are few people who can resist millions of years of evolution. some of them are mutants
I can’t hear you over the crunching. nom nom nom…
Mr. Herr likes his factory. Does he eat his chips?
I like potato chips too once in a while so I thought I’d throw this out here (Sam Gaillard and His Bakers Dozen, 1952, “Potato Chips” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFpztcGHAog
A little over a year ago I stumbled onto Herr’s website. Being a “tester” at heart (I wasn’t testing any online games at the moment), I found many bugs/missing/miss-linked content. So I sent them a note with about 20 things I found with a promise to find more if I had the time.
They thanked my efforts and asked if I would like a bag or two as samples since I never tasted their product. They sent a box of 40(!!!) bags of assorted chips! -)
Many months later I sent a long text file with additional errors. Herrs said they were updating their website soon. No, I don’t want any more samples… the store across the street from me sells them now! -)
Great products! And they keep expanding their market…now serving cookies and nuts! -)
Eternal Testing Newbie
Good ‘ol Idaho Dirtknuckles.
I once took a visiter tour at Zweifel Pomy-Chips in Switzerland. They gave us some chips fresh out of the oven, without any spices on them. They were incredibly delicious. Apparently they lose most of the flavor after being wrapped.
A co-worker and I are still dreaming of the day we can open a potato chip factory and sell bags of only “foldies” … those folded over chips are always the best tasting… the more folds, the better!
Too bad there’s not a machine at the exit that eats the chips and spits out Boing Boing comments. Oh, wait…
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