CHS Library gives students a taste of Black history

Library hosts a potato chip taste test in honor of George Crum, the chips inventor


J. Dollins

CHS students taste test a variety of potato chips at the library’s taste test event on Friday, Feb. 4.

Colton, CA—To celebrate Black History Month, the CHS Library hosted a potato chip taste test on Friday, February 4 in honor of their inventor, George Crum.

With inspiration from Crum, librarian April Geltch offered five varieties of potato chip for blind taste testing. Students came in during lunch to sample the potato chips and rank each for overall taste, saltiness, and crunch.

Students rank the chips as they visit the five different stations. (J. Dollins)

“We’re trying to come up with activities for the library to celebrate Black History Month,” Geltch shared. She found the activity online, and knew it would make for an excellent lunchtime lesson.

Sophomore Jordan Dubon preferred chip number two, which turned out to be a kettle chip from Good & Gather. “I really liked the amount of saltiness with the crunch.”

Hailey Dubon liked number three the best, which she correctly identified as a Pringle because of its “balance” between saltiness and crunchiness.

Unsurprisingly, Geltch compiled the data and determined there “was no clear cut winner because everyone has different tastes.”

Most students did not know who Crum was, so this served as a tasty history lesson.

As students tasted the variety of chips, which included Lay’s, Pringles, Good & Gather, Trader Joe’s, and Good Value varieties, they watched a video about George Crum and his contribution to American cuisine.

Student pulls down mask to enjoy a chip. (Annaleigha Hernandez)

Every February for Black History Month, we give notice of recognition to notable African Americans, including historical figures, politicians, civil rights activists, and celebrities. However, not enough credit is given to the small business owner, like George Crum.

Crum, born George Scpeck on July 15, 1824, was the inventor of potato chips. In the 1850’s, Crum was hired at Moon’s Lake House, a restaurant that provided food for a wealthy clientele in the Manhattan area of New York City.

This included Cornelius Vanderbilt, the famous railroad and shipping magnate. Vanderbilt, a regular of the restaurant time after time, was quite picky, and kept sending back his orders of french fries, claiming they were too thick. Since he did not know George Speck’s name, he kept calling him “Crum,” and the name stuck.

Crum, frustrated with Vanderbilt, went back and cut the potatoes paper thin, fried them, and seasoned them with lots of salt. When he served them, Vanderbilt surprised him by falling in love with the thin crisps. As a result Crum and Moon’s Lake House became known for their famous “Saratoga chips.”