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Lost classic desserts from our wide and varied past.

American Classics: Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

[Photograph: Pam Parrella]

Potato chips covered with chocolate. At first blush it might seem, well, odd. Chips and chocolate? Really? Yes. Really.

I was first introduced to the chocolate/potato chip combo back in high school when my dad bought our family 101 Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies by Gwen W. Steege. My younger brother commandeered the book and insisted on making the potato chip cookies. This was way before bacon and chocolate went mainstream and years before Jimmy Fallon ever dreamed of putting chocolate covered potato chips into his Ben & Jerry's flavor Late Night Snack. I'll admit I was initially a skeptic, but my brother was ahead of the curve. Potato chip cookies became a family favorite. Surprisingly, I didn't think of just dipping the chips in pure chocolatey goodness until years later when I was browsing an airport gift shop out west and I noticed "buffalo chips." These were chocolate covered potato chips packed with a cheesy label complete with a cartoon of a buffalo, ahem, going about his business. Lovely.

Turns out these buffalo chips aren't the only game in town as far as chocolate covered potato chips are concerned. Fargo, North Dakota, a city that's fixed in most Americans' consciousness thanks to the Coen brother's movie bearing the same name, is also famous for another chipper, the chocolate covered potato chipper sold at Carol Widman's Candy Company. The shop is fourth-generation candy company dating back to 1885, when the original was opened in Dubuque, IA. They make their chippers with "nationally recognized Red River Valley Potato Chips" dipped in milk chocolate, dark chocolate, peanut butter, and white almond. And they're not alone: Executive Sweets Chocolatier of Oakwood Village, Ohio lays claim to being the "home of the 'Original Chocolate Covered Potato Chip'".

Whatever their provenance, if you love sweet and salty combos as much as I do, I think we can all agree that chocolate covered potato chips are worthy addition to the pantheon of American sweets.

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Chocolate Covered Potato Chips »

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About the author: Alexandra Penfold is mild-mannered children's book editor by day, food ninja by night. Never one to skip dessert she's the Brownie half of Blondie & Brownie and a Midtown Lunch contributor. You can follow her on Twitter at @blondiebrownie.

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