When Chief Crumb invented the Sarasota chip in 1864, he used table stock, the only potato that was available. These potatoes were often high in sugars and were cooked in batches of 25 to 100 pounds in kettles with a direct fire under them.
The result was often dark chips with a sweet 'burnt' taste as a result of the caramelizing of the sugars that occurred during frying. Today the Rainbow or dark chip is the exception. Through the years farmers, university agricultural departments and private breeders worked to reduce the sugar content.
Over time, the industry built larger continuous fryers that heated the oil in special furnaces and piped into the new kettles instead of using direct fire. The new chip varieties along with the larger continuous fryers resulted in a light colored chip that many enjoy today. The dark chip became the exception and was usually removed from the process.
Many customers, however, missed the dark chips and would often ask for the 'burnt' chips. Better Made would collect the rejected dark chips and package them as "Rainbows " but the supply was very limited and we were unable to meet the demand for them.
Most Rainbows were as a result of potatoes that did not 'condition' during the winter storage period November through April and were unavailable during the 'fresh' harvest, May to October. For many years Better Made worked with the breeders and farmers to produce a chip variety potato that would have the ability to yield a rainbow flavored chip for most of the year in commercial quantities to meet the customer's demands.
Today we are proud to bring you our new 'Rainbow' country style for those customers who enjoy the traditional flavor of the old fashioned dark chip.
Dear Better Made:
On a recent trip to the grocery store I discovered Better Made Rainbow Dark Chips. I almost fell over right there in the snack aisle. I have been wanting and waiting to purchase Better Made burnt" chips for almost 50 years. These are the chips I bought in tins in the 1950's and after all this time, I have them back. Hooray!!!! There have been other dark chips on the market but none have ever come even close to the Better Made I remember, thin, crispy and marvelously browned.
I have always purchased Better Made chips except I cannot get them in Florida. The first thing I do is look inside for the burnt ones. Everyone in my family and my friends know they better give me the burnt ones! There were so few in a regular bag. Finally I can have a whole bag of them and even share (a few) with others. You call them "Rainbow" Dark Chips. In my mind they will always be Better Made Burnt Chips. I cannot thank you enough. You have brought back a truly wonderful snack.
Patricia Kramer, Lincoln, Michigan