MY VIEW OF THE WORLD:
THROUGH THE PRISM OF THE POTATO CHIP
Perhaps the world's most famous delicatessen, the Carnegie Deli in New York City, after almost 80 years in business, recently announced it is closing its doors at the end of 2016. Famous for its humongous sandwiches (my favorite was the corned beef and pastrami combo) and its cheese cake, it was the favorite eating place of many celebrities and much of Woody Allen's (for whom the corned beef and pastrami combo sandwich is named) film Broadway Danny Rose, was shot there. View some broadcasts of this end of an era announcement.
Hearing the news, it made me reflect back on one of my favorite chips, New York Deli. The brand was started in the 1980's by Borden who at the time owned Wise potato chips. They were introduced at the beginning of the reinvigoration of Kettle Chips before every major brand began offering their own version of Kettle Chips. They are now made under the Wise brand name with only the Jalapeno flavoring currently offered.
Watch the commercial for New York Deli Chips.
Mark Itkowitz who created the spot reminisced about the commercial:
"I created the spot and wrote the lyrics for My Purple Passion back in 1986 when I was a Creative Director at what was then Jordan, Case & McGrath in N.Y. The music house Sicurella & Smythe wrote the melody and it was sung by Valerie Simpson of Ashford and Simpson.I was also the announcer. The spot was shot in New Rochelle at DuRona Productions with John Sturner directing. One of the more interesting aspects of the production was getting the neon New York Deli logo on the car window at the end. We had to actually create the neon logo in reverse so it reflected properly. The scene was shot on a sound stage in the middle of the afternoon. Nice spot. Great potato chips!"
The Toga Chip Guy
As those who read this blog know, I am a collector of various items, most notably potato chip memorabilia. About twenty years ago, after the person who was doing my framing passed away, I asked for a recommendation of someone who could do high end-framing. And that is how I came to know Gerri Walsh. Gerri passed away on September 16, 2016. Over the past twenty or so years that I have known Gerri and her husband Bill, a close friendship grew. In addition to owning Art Associates, Gerri was a great artist. When Jessica and I purchased our home on Saratoga Lake, she was there to help us pick out all the colors and hang the various art work she had framed.
Her store was located very close to my office at General Electric and over many years I spent many lunch hours there conversing with Gerry, Bill and their colleague Attilla. We talked about all kinds of topics including art, the history of Albany and its many celebrities, and politics. She knew so many stories and seemed to know everyone. Even though we did not always agree, we had lively conversations and always respected each other's thoughts.
No matter what the challenge of the day was, she offered me great advice and wisdom. Gerri helped me to grieve when my Dear friend Larry was battling cancer and later died, even though she was battling her own serious health issues. It was my safe place to go and unwind. She always made me feel at home.
Gerri had a passion for helping others. One of many examples occurred in July of this year. I partnered with the Saratoga Springs Lions Club on the First Annual Chip Festival where I was finally able to get a venue large enough to display most of my extensive collection of Saratoga Chip memorabilia. Gerry and Attilla had expertly framed all of it, but now there was a short window on the day before the show where it all had to be hung on a portable wall that the Lions had built for me to display my collection. Gerri had been battling major illness for many years, and was too ill to attend, but that Friday morning, July 15th, her husband Bill and Attilla closed the shop and arrived at my home to help transport all of the pieces to the City center and professionally hang them all. Bill had made arrangements to have friends stay with Gerri and he told me "Gerri said we have to be there to help Alan."
I will greatly miss Gerri's kindness and friendship. May her memory be a blessing!
Under the Building an Industry tab, you can read about Harvey Noss. One of his many great accomplishments was approaching Lipton to encourage them to develop an onion dip to help sell potato chips. Recipes have been used by most major chippers to help promote potato chip sales. Here is a vintage "Chip Tips" by Jean Stuart who was Home Economist for the Crispie Potato Chip Company of Stockton, California. It appeared in the August 1953 edition of the Potato Chipper. What is your favorite dip?
The Toga Chip Guy
E-mail me at TogaChipGuy@gmail.com
In the March 1953 edition of Potato Chipper, there is an article entitled "How to Be a Proper Host or Hostess." Written before the invention of the smartphone, they take us back to the days of a more proper rules of demeanor when people consulted the Emily Post books on proper etiquette. Plan a conversation menu has been replaced by texting your friends. Of particular relevance is the following rule for hosts:
He shows consideration by opening the bag of chips he bought for her; certainly she gets the first chance to dip her hand in the bag of chips.
You can click on the following link to hear Cole Porter's class "Anything Goes" sung by the First Lady of Song, Miss Ella Fitzgerald.
The invention of the potato chip is filled with legend, mystery and myth. Some people credit the invention to the sister of George Crum, Catherine Ann "Aunt Katie" Wicks Adkins who may have accidently dropped a potato into a cruller (donut") machine. In the March 1953 Potato Chipper magazine, the centennial anniversary of the invention of the potato chip was celebrated with the naming of "Miss Potato Chip of 1953" who was given the Native American name of UN-KA-PU-CHI (Laughing Water). It was part of an organized effort to bring the centennial to the attention of the public to help stimulate the sale of potato chips. It was done in conjunction with Potato Chip Week and was spearheaded by H.W. Lay & Company, Inc. Atlanta, Georgia,; Snyder's Bakeries, Inc. of Hanover, Pennsylvania; and Red Dot Foods, Inc. Madison Wisconsin.