Why is Michigan Obsessed With These Burnt Potato Chips?
Don't judge me, but up until this weekend I had no idea what "Rainbow Chips" were, did you? As a Michigander of course I know the Better Made potato chip brand is a Michigan staple, but how did Rainbow Chips escape me all these years?
If you've been in the dark like me, allow me to explain: Rainbow Chips are dark potato chips that have a burnt appearance due to the caramelizing of the high amount of sugars inside the potato. To the untrained eye it may look as though someone left the potatoes in the oven a bit too long, but for well-seasoned pros like us Michiganders we know this is intentional.
How It Started
Although a Saratoga, NY man named George Crum is credited with inventing the modern day potato chip, Better Made is known for perfecting them. According to the back of the Rainbow Chips bag, the chips were the result of "Potatoes that did not 'condition' during the winter storage period." These unconditioned potatoes ended up being high in sugar which would then caramelize during the frying process and produce darker chips.
Though factories and potato farmers got smarter about sourcing new varieties of potato chips for a classic golden color, Better Made says over time patrons would specifically request the "burnt chips"-- so much so that they were unable to keep up with demands!
Through the years Better Made has worked with famers to produce a variety of potato that, "Would have the ability to yield a 'rainbow' flavored chip in commercial quantity." Yes, they're doing it on purpose! The traditional old-fashioned "Rainbow Chip" can now be found in its iconic brown and rainbow-colored bag on every Meijer, gas station, or party store shelf.
Now that I've had a taste of the dark side there's no going back for me, it's rainbow all the way! Which is your favorite Better Made flavor?