Detroit's pride and joy in the realm of potato chips still packs a satisfying crunch, according to the experts, 86 years after its start.
The Better Made Snack Foods won two gold-medal awards for a pair of its Michigan-made snack products in a national competition this month.
Better Made's salt and vinegar chips and its potato sticks each took home top prizes at the Saratoga Chip Festival in the birthplace of the potato chip, Saratoga Springs, New York.
"Considering the amount of manufacturers that were at the festival this is quite an achievement for Better Made," the company said in a release.
The awards were handed out July 16.
Mark Winkelman, president of Better Made, which celebrated 85 years in business last year, offered a bit of history on the potato chip after winning the gold medals:
"The potato chip was invented over a century ago at The Moon Lake House Resort in Saratoga Springs, New York by the resort's Chef, a Native American named George Crum, kind of by accident."
"It seems a customer was eating at the resort and didn't like his potatoes cut as thickly as they were and sent them back several times. Chef Crum, in a pique of anger, cut them quite thin, fried them up, and added salt."
"The customer loved them so much that he shared them with others and they caught on like wildfire – thus the potato chip was born. We at Better Made are thankful for Chef Crum's foresight."
Category Champions and Gold Medal Winners
The Chip Festival
All Gold Medal winning chips were tasted on Saturday and a Champion awarded for the highest score in each category. PotatoPro has identified the Category Champions in Italics
Best Plain Chip:
- Saratoga Chips, LLC. – Original with Himalayan Salt
- Frito – Lay – Lay’s Classic
- Ballreich Bros. – Marcelled Potato Chips
Best Kettle Chip:
- The Great Lakes Potato Chip Co. – Original Flavor Kettle Chip
- Utz Quality Foods – Good Health Avocado Oil Sea Salt
- Herr Foods – Herr’s Regular Kettle
Best Potato Stick:
- Utz Quality Foods – Utz Potato Stix
- Ballreich Bros. – Smokey Sweet Mesquite Potato Stick
- Better Made Snack Foods – Better Made Special Potato Sticks
Best Tortilla Chip:
- Utz Quality Foods – Utz Tortilla’s Restaurant Style
- The Great Lakes Potato Chip Co. – Tortilla Chips
- Frito – Lay – Tostitos Scoops
Best Corn Based Chip (non-tortilla):
- Wise Foods – Original Dipsy Doodle
- Frito – Lay – Doritos Nacho Cheese
- Wise Foods – Crunchy Cheese Doodle
Best Vegetable Chip (non potato or corn):
- North Fork Potato Chip Co. – Sweet Potato Chip
- Popcorners – Our Little Rebellion Bean Crisps Saucy Salsa
- Herr Foods – Good Natured Selects Baked Vegetable Crisps
Best BBQ Flavored Chip:
- Wise Foods – Wise Honey BBQ
- Wise Foods – Wise Kettle Cooked BBQ
- Frito – Lay – Lay’s Honey BBQ
Best Cream and/or Dairy Flavored Chip:
- Utz Quality Foods – Utz Sour Cream and Onion
- Bickel’s Snack Foods – Troyer Farms Sour Cream and Onion
- Herr Foods – Herr’s Sour Cream and Onion
Best Spice and/or Salt Flavored Chip:
- Better Made Snack Foods – Salt and Vinegar Potato Chip
- Frito – Lay – Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili
- Wise Foods – Wise Kettle Cracked Pepper
Best “Anything Goes” Chip:
- Frito – Lay – Ruffles All Dressed
- Jones Potato Chip Co. – Wavy Dill Potato Chips
- Saratoga Chips, LLC. – Old Glories Red, White, and Blue