Americans love their potato chips -- in fact, about 13 percent of the nation's potatoes become them. Now, thanks to Cornell's potato-breeding program, we'll soon have two new varieties designed specifically for chip-making, reports The Cornell News Service.
Waneta and Lamoka potatoes, named after two twin lakes in the Finger Lakes region that Cornell calls home, both have long storage life and an appealing color when sliced. Since potatoes are usually harvested in the fall but don't head for the chipper till spring, it's important to have a potato that stores well. These new varieties are also resistant to common potato diseases in the area: golden nematode, which infects roots, and scab, which forms pits in the root vegetable.
And they'll make for tastier snacks, too. The Lamoka is high in starch, which makes for a less greasy chip because it soaks up less oil when fried. The Waneta is less prone to bruising, which should make for fewer of those funky green chips at the bottom of the bag. There were 40 acres of the new varieties planted in 2010 (and 400 acres slated for 2011), and since each acre yields a whopping 30,000 pounds of potatoes, these new chips should be making their way through the big Pennsylvania processing plants like Utz and Herr's soon. Happy crunching!