Saratoga County man considered top potato chip historian

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Alan Richer knows all things chips. He’s spent the last 18 years collecting chip history and memorabilia.

He’s a regular on the History Channel, and a sought after presenter at colleges and conferences.

It all started when the former corporate tax attorney moved to Saratoga Lake and was looking for art for his new home. One thing led to another and he was soon dipping into Saratoga’s delicious history of chips.

One theory is that a prominent chef at a Saratoga restaurant – a guy named George Crum – was angry that a customer was complaining that his potatoes were too thick, so Crum sliced them as thin as he could, fried them in oil and smothered them with salt. The customer loved them and Saratoga Chips were born.

Soon, they were being made and sold around the country and the world.

Richer has a huge, party size collection – Saratoga chip bags, tins, a mandolin cutter – and they’re part of a new exhibit at the Saratoga County History Center in Ballston Spa.

The exhibit is open Thursday through Sunday through at least the end of the year.

Check out a preview of Richers chip memorabilia collection by watching the video of Mark Mulhollands story.