Potato was first introduced in Europe by Spain in 1536, and the Spanish claim that Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada was the first to introduce the potato to Europe. Potatoes were not accepted at once in Europe because clerics said they were not mentioned in the bible, while others believed potatoes can cause some diseases.
However, the “French fry” was allegedly served in the U.S. for the first time by Thomas Jefferson at a presidential dinner.
Not convinced yet? Next time you are thrusting fistfuls of potato chips in your mouth, keep in mind that if it wasn’t for the passive-aggressive move by Chef George Crum in 1853, potato chips may never have been invented. As the story goes, Crum was head of the kitchen at Cary Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga, New York, a place where railroad mogul Cornelius Vanderbilt liked to dine. Vanderbilt wasn’t a fan of the thick-cut potatoes on his plate, so one day he sent them back to the kitchen, a move that annoyed the chef. In retaliation, Crum sliced the spuds as thinly as he could, fried them in oil with some salt, and turned them into crispy potatoes. Vanderbilt loved them, and the chef’s revenge turned out to be the genesis of one of the most popular snack foods.