Potato Chips

potato_chips1.jpgSo putting together the idea that not all local food is gourmet, and the knowledge that most of the white potatoes used to make potato chips in this country are grown in Michigan, I decided to look up some home-grown snack foods. Here’s what I’ve found so far:

  • Made-Rite potato chips are made in the thumb area of Michigan
  • Mike-Sells potato chips are made in Dayton, Ohio – but be warned they’re fried in peanut oil (in case you’re allergic)
  • Hometown potato chips – Springfield, Ohio
  • Jones Chips – Elyria, Ohio

It turns out (and why is this a surprise?) that potato chips are seasonal. The Made-Rite site has a nice tour of how their chips are made. (It’s a Flash-based site, so I can’t give you an exact link. Sorry.) In the spring, their potatoes come from the South; in the fall, they come from much further north, including Michigan.



  1. Ken said,

    November 12, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    I like that you’re including the non-gormet, the junk-food, and the wal-mart in your quest for local food. we’ve got to figure out how to get local food into everyone’s hands, and that’s going to mean local twinkies! or at least pork rinds, waffle mixes and potato chips.

  2. Robyn M. said,

    November 12, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    I agree with Ken–rah for junk food! Everyone needs crap in their diets occasionally (I say as I sit with a bowl of entirely non-local chocolate covered pretzel ice cream in my lap). Along the same lines…

    doooood, have you tried making your own chips? Oh, the joy! And so easy. Take potato. Take peeler. Start shaving off strips of potato with peeler. Soak briefly in water, then spiiiiiin dry–do NOT, under any circumstances, skip this step–think about it, [(hot oil + wet potato) = bad]. Deep fry in smallish batches until they’re as done as you want ’em, salt, eat. Oh, the goodness.

  3. espringf said,

    November 13, 2007 at 9:49 am


    I figure, everything has to come from somewhere, right? Why not make local choices with the foods people *really* eat, not just rarified yuppie food? Another example: Jiffy mixes are made down the street in Chelsea, and they use a lot of Michigan flour (which is better for cakes than bread). It’s pretty easy in this part of the world to choose Jiffy over Betty Crocker, so why not?

    Robyn (Hey! Cool! A name!!) –

    I don’t think I’ve ever cooked anything at home that requires deep-fry quantities of oil. Call it an irrational kitchen fear, similar to the use of a pressure cooker. 🙂 But yum…that does sound good. I’m thinking of having a potato chip tasting this winter…maybe we should try that!

  4. Kate said,

    November 13, 2007 at 10:47 am

    I actually have a friend who is allergic to *sunflower* oil, which is what everyone is making potato chips with, so she’s always thrilled to find peanut oil chips. 🙂

  5. November 21, 2007 at 7:06 am

    I’m not sure, but you might be able to add Ballreich’s (based in Tiffin, Ohio) to your list. Not sure if they still source their potatoes locally, but the chips are the best!

  6. india said,

    August 9, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    i was wondering if anybody knew how to order hometown potato chips, my great grandmother lives in florida and loves them but they don’t sell them down here so we were going to send them to her by mail.

  7. denise cummins said,

    September 1, 2011 at 12:15 am

    the made-rite site you listed, takes you to better made. These chips are good also, but I love the cheese popcorn made from made-rite. I live in MI and can not seem to find it in the stores nowhere. Please try to help me, I thought that maybe the company had folded along with so many other businesses.

    • Anonymous said,

      April 12, 2013 at 10:28 pm

      I also recall made rite cheese popcorn in the 70’s and 80’s. it was the best cheese popcorn I have ever eaten. Something happened after that , the taste wasn’t the same when they combined with better made. I have tried other cheese popcorn since , and it just doesn’t match up to the taste I experienced in the 80’s. they most of toyed with the ingredients.

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