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Top Pick Of The Week

September 27, 2005

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Gourmet Potato Chips
Simple perfection: North Fork’s thick-cut sweet potatoes
fried in sunflower oil. Nothing else is needed. Photo by
Elton Lin.

North Fork All Natural Potato Chips: Chips Ahoy!

If you get excited at the sight of anything called “sweet potato” on restaurant menus...if a bowl of sweet potato chips sounds more appealing than the cocktail they might be served with...if you’d rather munch the sweet potato chips than the sandwich they garnish...then this NIBBLE’s for you.

Now you can have thick, crunchy, home-made-style sweet potato chips whenever you like...thanks to the Atkins anti-carb diet craze. It left a third-generation potato farming family on the North Fork of Long Island, New York with an alarming surplus of potatoes. Necessity being the mother of invention, they bought a hopper, a fryer and bagging equipment and started to produce potato chips.

Original & Sweet Potato Chips

Over a year ago they launched their excellent North Fork Original All Natural Potato Chips. The All Natural Sweet Potato Chips, even more special, recently debuted, ensuring gourmet chipaholics an endless supply for cocktails, sandwiches, soups, burgers, barbecues, plate garnishes, fish and chicken crusts, and not-so-plain-old snacking. Sweet Potato is a beautiful chip: just quality potatoes fried in quality oil, without even salt to get in the way of that pure sweet potato flavor. Original is no slouch either, a big step up for those who love classic potato chips and would like to find a better one. (Fear not, classicists, Original is salted.)

North Fork Potato Chips are kettle-style chips, a category of “gourmet” chips that are thicker and crispier than standard chips, making them less fragile and better for dipping. Some artisanal chip makers may fry their kettle chips in an actual kettle—a wide-mouthed, uncovered metal pot that sits atop a stove, and was used to make early potato chips. But for most, the “kettle” is a small commercial fryer, and the expression refers to small-batch cooking that affords quality control and a “handmade” product (as opposed to the assembly-line process that creates mass-marketed commercial chips). Kettle chips also tend to be darker and more flavorful—due to the frying process, better oils (no trans-fats), and simple processing (no preservatives or additives).

The sunflower oil in which both the Sweet Potato and Original chips are cooked is a heart-healthy oil shown to lower cholesterol levels—it’s even healthier than olive oil. While we’re not suggesting that potato chips are a health food, these pure chips are something you could have cooked yourself, something you’re comfortable feeding to children. Think of that when you read the list of additives on a bag of mass-marketed chips.

Barbeque Potato Chips

The newest flavor, Barbeque Potato Chips, is unlike any BBQ chip we’ve had, they're sweetly elegant with a light peppery finish. The recipe looks just like barbeque sauce: sugar, molasses powder, tomato powder, vinegar powder, spices, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Although salt is the third ingredient (after potatoes and sunflower oil), we taste no salt at all. The sugar, molasses and tomato combine to create a high-quality, brown sugar-ketchup taste that is very attractive. The chips would match beautifully with burgers, barbeque chicken, sweet cocktails or foods like chicken salad and seafood salad which have an innate sweetness. We required no food match whatsoever to polish off the entire bag. Anyone who likes honey mustard would go for these big-time.

All of these chips taste so clean, they will disprove the theory that we naturally migrate to grease and salt. Here, less is more. Yes, grease and salt lovers will taste enough oil (and salt with Original) to recognize the genre. But the first taste is fresh potato flavor—even the white potato chips have a field-fresh sweetness to them. (For those who are about to ask: The white potato varieties used are Andover, Marcy, and Norwiss, varieties not familiar to consumers.)

North Fork’s chips have a 14-week shelf life. The retail distribution is expanding—and if you like these chips as much as we do, you can help by asking your specialty food store to bring them in. Otherwise, you can order them by the case. That may sound like a lot, but it isn’t because they go quickly—especially when your friends find out that you have them.

— Karen Hochman
Updated August 2006

FORWARD THIS NIBBLE to all your chip-loving friends—and to anyone planning a party.

NORTH FORK POTATO CHIPS

All Natural Original Potato Chips, Barbeque Potato Chips and Sweet Potato Chips

  • Original Chips or Barbeque Chips
    Case of 24 2-Ounce Bags
    $28.80
  • Original Chips or Barbeque Chips
    Case of 12 6-Ounce Bags
    $28.80
  • Sweet Potato Chips
    Case of 12 6-Ounce Bags
    $36.00
  • Mixed Cases Available
    See Website For Details

To purchase, visit
NorthForkChips.com

Or telephone 1.631.298.8631

Retail price range:

  • Original 2-Ounce Bag
    $1.00-$1.25
  • Original 6-Ounce Bag
    $1.99-$2.50
  • Sweet Potato 6-Ounce Bag
    $3.00

Prices and item availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional.

For NIBBLE articles on potato
chips, including the history
of the chip, click here.


chip bag
Chip excitement in a silver bag. For special occasions, or to make any occasion special. Photo below of Original and Sweet Potato Chips by Elton Lin.
potato chips

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