The idea started from a trip that Edward Snyder took to Grand Union Hotel in Saratoga Springs, NY, right after the Civil War. A customer asked the chef to fry thinly sliced potatoes until they were crispy – potato chips. Edward was so impressed by the potato chip, he thought this might be an income-replacement opportunity. Once back in Hanover, PA, Edward and his wife, Eda, used a miniature Pennsylvania Dutch slaw cutter called a “little shave”, which worked perfectly to slice potatoes into a black iron kettle of lard. The Snyder’s Potato Chips business started out small, producing the potato chips when the family needed to purchase something like clothes or other needs. Their girls would go around town selling the small bags of chips. As the business started to blossom, additions needed to be made to their Victorian home to accommodate. When Gary Sterner, great-grandson of Edward Snyder, was 16 and able to drive, he began his career as a salesman.
In the 1940s, the craft paper bag was switched to an aluminum foil bag to help keep the chips’ flavor and crispness intact. In February 1947, Snyder of Berlin began operation to be closer to their potato farmers in Berlin, PA. After the dissolution in 1961, the Sterner family took ownership of the chip factory in Berlin. In the 1960s and 1970s, many enhancements to production were made like large state-of-the-art automated fryers and packaging machines, In 1972, Snyder became a division of Curtice-Burns of Rochester, N.Y.. In 1994, Curtice-Burns Foods became a wholly owned subsidiary of Pro-Fac Cooperative in order to keep the economy going in Berlin. As of December 2009, Snyder of Berlin is now part of Pinnacle Foods Group LLC, a family of household name brands like Vlasic, Van DeKamps, Duncan Hines, Mrs. Paul’s, Swanson, Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth’s, Log Cabin, and Lender’s.
Snyder of Berlin puts approximately $7.5 million into the local economy and produces more than 17 million pounds of potato chips annually (from 43 million pounds of potatoes). Over half of the potatoes are harvested from Somerset and surrounding counties within 25 miles of the plant. The remainder are from Florida, Virginia, and the Carolinas. Distribution has also increased across Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Virginia, Washington D.C., North and South Carolina, New York, Indiana, and New Jersey.
Let’s take a look at some of these tasty chips:
Vlasic Dill Pickle Flavored Potato Chips have a strong vinegar, dill pickle aroma when you open the bag. The chips have a uniquely salty pickle flavor (but not as strong as expected based on the aroma) with crisp, crunchy texture. The flavor is good but it does overpower the potato flavor. This would pair well with a tuna sandwich, deli sandwich, burger (either on the side or as a topping), and/or hot dog. Rating: 4.3/5
Honey Bar-B-Q Flavored Potato Chips have a slight honey aroma when you open the bag. The chips have a sweet honey, subtle barbeque flavor with a good balance of sweet and salty. The barbeque flavor could be turned up just a bit. This would pair well with a hot dog, juicy piece of watermelon, burger, roast beef sandwich, fried chicken, and/or ribs. Rating: 3.6/5
Wavy Potato Chips have the aroma of kettle chips when you open the bag. They have a rustic potato and salty flavor. The texture is crispy and thick enough to hold up well to dips. This would pair well with ranch or clam dips, or alongside a sandwich, burger, and/or hot dog. Rating: 3.4/5
Salt & Vinegar Flavored Potato Chips have a very strong vinegar aroma when you open the package. The chips are salty and have a strong vinegar flavor. The vinegar flavor is very overpowering. This would pair well with deep fried fish fillets/sticks, grilled cheese, deli sandwich, and/or burger. Rating: 2.9/5
Include Snyder of Berlin Potato Chips with your next backyard barbeque or party - “Taste the Difference”
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Available in Kentucky, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia or buy online