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PA Potato Chips: The love that dared not speak its name....


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PA Potato Chips: The love that dared not speak its name....

Bookhall | Feb 13, 2002 08:24 PM

There’s been a secret potato chip discussion going on under guise of being a review of a barbecue restaurant.

Well, it’s time to get it all out in the open.

PA: Stands for Potato-chip Anonymous. I probably shouldn’t admit to this, but I’m a potato-chip junkie. Look it, too. I’m constitutionally incapable of passing a 2-lb bag of Goods--I’m fed with red, but blue will do--and not taking it home. Or even two, if necessary. And it often is.

OK. I currently live in Harrisburg (no local chips.) Moved here about three years ago from Chambersburg
(Gibbles,) where I spent 90% of my life. I never really cared for Gibbles, but I occasionally buy the small tubs for convenience. I’ve got a son out in MN, and he occasionally needs his Gibbles fix, with Grandma Utz as an acceptable substitute.

I’ve got a sister that lives in Reading, which is how I discovered Goods. Used to go to the late, lamented
Shillington Market and buy a couple 2-pounders. I believe they were the Blue-bag (BB) Goods there. Then one day, I discovered Red-bag (RB) Goods. Well, that meant one of each when I was in the Reading area. And, of course, I’d always snag small bags ($1 or under,) of other brands to check out. Zerbes comes to mind (only because I’m working on the last couple oz. of one right now,) but there are others. Many others.

I’ve decided that you can draw a rough triangle from Chambersburg, to Reading, to Lancaster (might have to
bend it a bit to pickup Newville, Hanover and the like,) and encompass Potato Chip Heaven.

I think we are in a Golden Age of potato chips. You can talk about micro-breweries all you want, but let’s hear it for the PA Potato Chip! And they’re legal! You can eat ‘em going down the road! (Don’t try talking on your cell phone at the same time, though.) In fact, when I’m going on a trip, it’s pack the cooler, the books-on-tape, and a nice decent-size bag of PA Potato Chips! Only way to travel. It’d be the only way to fly, as well, if you can figure out how to keep them from getting crushed. Probably start a riot on the plane, though...

Miscellaneous potato chip facts (and perhaps an opinion or two:) Have you ever noticed that potato chip, and politically correct, and personal computer all have the same initials? Coincidence? I think not...

RB Goods uses route trucks. BB Goods must be picked up at the plant. So I’ve been told. This accounts for the
fact that RB Goods has a wider distribution than BB Goods. There’s a Walmart out around Palmyra that stocks
RB Goods.

English potato chips are called crisps. I spent four years there in the early sixties. They used to sell them in the pubs, as you might find them in bars around here. I used to buy ‘em, eat ‘em, confirm the fact that they left a lot to be desired, and make sure I got to the fish & chip shop before it closed. One day, I saw a buddy of mine, who’d just bought a bag, sprinkling some salt on the crisps out of a tiny blue packet. “Hey,” I said, “Where’d you get the salt?” “Waddya mean,” says he. “Didn’t you know there’s a little salt packet in each bag?” Then, we
just stared at each other for a couple of seconds. And we both burst out laughing. Probably accounts for the
tender tummy I have today....

Somewhere over 30 years ago, a guy named Lou Noel made potato chips. Truly an awesome chip. If memory serves, he was bought out by Tastykake. And the potato chip operation disappeared.... I’ll leave you to draw any
conclusions from that.

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