Fun in VA: Rt. 11 Potato Chips

Personally I love learning about food especially yummy snacks like Rt. 11 Potato Chips. I first tasted their Sweet Potato chips years ago and fell in love immediately. Then I learned they have some other extremely yummy varieties like barbecue, sour cream and chive, and lightly salted. They also have a Chesapeake Bay flavor and Dill Pickle that people think are outta this world but I can't vouch for them 'cause I don't eat 'em.

But back to the chips. While we were the Adventure Family this summer we went to visit Rt. 11 Potato Chips. Heck, it's right around the corner from Shenandoah Caverns so it makes a nice day.

Here are some of the first things you'll notice:
1. It is a small operation. The first day we were there we saw 1 person cooking the chips, 2 people seasoning the chips, and 2 people were putting the bags into boxes. Oh, and 2 women were assisting people like us who'd walked in from the street. I imagine there were other people about but this is not a vast operation.
2. That said, they get a tractor-trailer truck of potatoes from the Eastern Shore of Virginia every week. That's 55,000 pounds of potatoes and they cook them EVERY WEEK. That's a lot of potatoes. And it's nice to know that not only is the end product made in Virginia but the root, ahem, product is from the Commonwealth as well.
3. Sweet potatoes are cooked at the end of the week. So if you're visiting and you're interested in watching them cook the sweet taters you might want to time your visit for Friday and Saturday.
4. One Hundred pounds of potatoes will give you 25 pounds of potato chips. Yep, that means that potatoes are 75% water. [I didn't do the math. I remembered this from the tour.]
5. They only cook chips that have already been purchased by a buyer so none of the chips are just sitting around their building waiting for a home. Not only is this good business but it's nice that the chips aren't getting lonely:)
6. You can freeze potato chips. You know, just in case you want to buy the big 1 1/2 pound bag while you're visiting and you're worried that they'll go stale before you can finish them. If you don't have a freezer you can feel free to invite me over;)
7. All potato peelings are feed to a herd of cows down the road from them. How's that for recycling!!

Want to find where to find Rt. 11 Chips near where you live? You should!! These are wonderful chips made in small batches, with wonderful flavors.

This was a great stop for the family, too. It's just a few minutes off the interstate and I didn't feel like I needed to worry about the girls' behavior. We went twice it was so much fun and we needed refueling before we came home. There are large viewing windows so that everyone can see. Stairs lead up to the second level where large windows allow viewing of the seasoning process. Stairs mean that the entire process isn't exactly accessible but like I said, this isn't a large operation.

So, if you're in the vicinity, or even passing through, I think you'll really enjoy a stop at Rt. 11 Potato Chips. It is definitely a Cool Idea!!


August 18, 2010 at 2:26 AM 忠姜姜姜蓮 said...
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