Showing posts with label Detroit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Detroit. Show all posts

Mar 13, 2015

National Potato Chip Day

March 14 is also National Potato Chip day in the US. Americans consume 1.2 billion pounds (over 17 billion US dollars) of potato chips each year. It remains the nation’s favorite snack food. A recent survey showed 86% of US and France consume potato crisps/potato chips followed by 84% of Brits and 72% of Egyptians. Bottom of the scale is China with 28% consumption.

Detroit, Michigan leads the way in potato chip consumption; in fact, it is the potato chip consumption capital of the country. Detroiters consume an average of seven pounds of chips per year; the rest of the country about four pounds.

Have some fun, eat more chips and rest assured that all calories have been removed from all potato chips in the world for one day only. I have eaten hundreds of brands of chips from around the world, including the original Saratoga chips, but still prefer Better Made Potato Chips from Detroit Michigan, USA. Celebrity chef Rachael Ray named the Better Made's salt-and-vinegar chips the best in the nation.

Jul 11, 2014

Fifteen Detroit Facts

Detroit, Michigan might not be the city it once was, but it does have a prestigious history and a few firsts attributed to it.
    The very first news broadcast came out of Detroit on WWJ.
    Detroit was the first city to assign individual phone numbers, in 1879.
    It is potato chip capital of the world… per consumption. (Love those Better Made chips)
    Ice cream soda was invented in Detroit.
    Pizza deliveryman Richard Davis invented the bulletproof vest, after being attacked by three armed robbers during a delivery. (DuPont chemist Stephanie Kwolek, who passed away last month, discovered Kevlar in 1965).
    Detroit has more registered bowlers than any other city.
    The salt mines beneath Detroit could keep food flavored for over seventy thousand years.
    Elijay J. McCoy invented the best lubrication system for locomotives and other machinery in 1872. Manufacturers wanted the best, “the real McCoy.” (That’s where the saying came from).
    The first four-way traffic light was in Detroit, at the intersection of Woodward and Fort St.
    A one-mile stretch of Detroit road was paved with concrete in 1908, making it the world's first concrete-paved road.
    Vernor's Ginger Ale was invented there.
    The first air-conditioned car was manufactured in 1939 by Detroit's Packard Motor Car Company.
    The J.W. Westcott II, Detroit, is the world's only floating post office, as it delivers mail to ships as they pass under the Ambassador Bridge (I once rode on it).
    The first tunnel connecting two countries in the world is the Detroit Windsor Tunnel, connecting Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
    Belle Isle, in Detroit is the largest island park in the US.

Jul 19, 2012

Sons of the Desert Convention

The 18th annual (held every other year) international convention is being held July 17 - 22 in Manchester New Hampshire. It is attended by folks who love a good time and follow Laurel and Hardy. I have attended a few and had a great time. During one convention in California, we staged a pie fight to commemorate a scene from another of L&H movies. It turned out to be the largest pie fight in the world and we were on the TV show 'Real People'. Took me days to get the lemon custard out of every nook and cranny of my body.

The 'Sons of the Desert' name is taken from a lodge that the boys belonged to in the movie of the same name. It is an international fraternal organization devoted to lives and films of comedians Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Each participating city has a "tent" with the name taken from one of their movies. The exception is Detroit, which took the name 'Dancing Cuckoos' from the theme song.

The group is loosely formed and has never approved the bylaws, which Stan Laurel said must maintain a 'half-assed dignity'. Meetings consist of watching their old movies and enjoying drinks and popcorn. Each year the bylaws are brought up for vote and ceremoniously ignored. The leader of the group has the title 'Exhausted Ruler', also taken from one of the movies. It was formed in 1964.

Mar 9, 2010

National Potato Chip Day

Yep, March 14 every year marks the day we celebrate the thin and crispy snack, the potato chip.

Potatoes were originally cultivated in South America, probably in Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. More than 400 years ago, the Inca Indians in those countries grew potatoes in their mountain valleys.

During the Alaskan Klondike gold rush, (1897-1898) potatoes were so valued for their vitamin C content that miners traded gold for potatoes.

Potato Chips were first made in 1853 while Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt was on vacation in Saratoga Springs, New York.  At one restaurant, he kept sending his fried potatoes back to the kitchen because he said they were "too thick".  The chef, George Crum, decided that he would cut them into paper-thin slices, boil them in oil, fry them, and salt them as a joke to the Commodore.  It backfired.  They became an instant success and the restaurant was well known for them.

It was the invention of the mechanical potato peeler in the 1920s that paved the way for potato chips to soar from a small specialty item to a top-selling snack food. For several decades after their creation, potato chips were largely a Northern dinner dish. I can still make a dinner of nothing but chips.

Of course, I am partial to Detroit's Better Made Potato Chips. Detroiters eat an average of 7 pounds of chips per year, vs. 4 pounds in the rest of the country  Better Made has even been sending chips to our troops in Iraq.

Chip facts - Chips are available in other countries, and are also called crisps and Saratoga chips. Potato chips have become America's favorite snack, and  US retail sales of potato chip are over $6 billion and 1.2 billion pounds a year. The thickness of an ordinary potato chip is 55/1000 of an inch. Ridged chips are 4 times thicker, 210/1000 of an inch. 50.4% of US potatoes come from Idaho. The potato was the first vegetable to be grown in space.

For those who have been wondering, yes, there are bacon potato chips. Who's Your Daddy makes handmade bacon potato chips. They are available on the web and in selected stores around San Francisco.